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Full text of "The Emigrants' guide to Oregon and California : containing scenes and incidents of a party of Oregon emigrants, a description of Oregon, scenes and incidents of a party of California emigrants, and a description of California : with a description of the different routes to those countries : and all necessary information relative to the equipment, supplies, and the method of traveling"

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Oregon Hist. 

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14* oa. or 

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13.4 em. or 
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5-5/8 in. 

14. cm. or 
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12.6 cm. or 
5 in. 

14. cm. or 
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13. cm. or 
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12.5 cm. or 
i»-15/l6 inc. 




Lower edges vncut. 

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May 31f 1949 

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AND l^.:fl}ENT?^*^-A: PARTY 0} 

»T^icI2imJeznns; convenlio). ^trader.,, :,^,n.,p, . 
^ imcfi'n of tmg-miHi^; vic..^,isc of; mmber . 
hire Jynn Imir.pemhmr'i. ^-^^ Hicipafrd/mm?' 
Proposition to ,iwcl lawn; f-''^onf,'lhcrr t 
dian ri^:k(s. Olf'rndcr ano.. i-^f]. /^ ;.-_., ,7 
jjori 0/ A /Jecrte; oppositi 
Return to ike SU'>c^- ^} 
bnjf'alo; I'Lineri^iiyfj' ■ i 
cess of m-owitainei'h. ^' 
DitLian of party. ', 1' 
posed of. 'Parties- -uiS/t-ii, 
afid trappers. Mr. Fi 
I Arrival at Su-rt-'' u-ah. 

J/', order: i- ?/*'*» /^.' 7 •" ( f 




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ranonai an ! in.' 
complish his rjr . 
dence, Mo., which |)la.;» 
traders, and the Iiti pofo 
■ )'iependetjce, Iv 
n.iers, andlhe L 

nnui tlie.r iiuiKbei ^lioui. 
sure the safety of al!, v^: 
their favorite place of,' 
ernigrunts continued to i) 
ar May, our cornpamr r 
ns a force of eightv avn 
tecti'jn. I-Iavji.ijnr oro;i:n 
thcmj^<-[?es --Jtl-' :h</'ne;. 

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nrhedio "be essential, and indispensable, and all t^gs else being t 
-re.lm.l:-.s.onth.e 13jh„day_.of Ma^^Jn, tbe.xeai,l^f , f f« 0"e maa 
united in inlv^iest; nnited in feelm^; we were, en route, lor the long- deA. 
s'.ved El Dorh(y:)Hhe West. .. . 

'^^^^■f'o^-ivas Kigh glee, jocular hilarity, and happy anticipation, as 
we t^us ^ai"^-^ forward into the wild expanse, of the untrodden regions of 
the '"we*^ern world." The harmony of feeling, the t^ameness of purpose, 
and the 'identity of interest, w^hich here existed, seemeJ to indicate nothmJ 
Ir^ roiitP"^^'^ order, hai'nnony and peace, amid all thetrying scenes incV 
dent'to oV^' ^^no- and toilsome journey. But \ye had proceeded oi?ly a 
C^^^.'^la-s^travciifrom our native land of order and s'curity, wheri, th^ 
Anipfic; '^ clW.racter " was fully exhibited. All • upfl'ared to be deter- 
.. :,.„,(! toi-^ovc-n, but not to be governed. H^re v;e -kp without law, 
V"' out ofc ^^^ md without restraint; in a stnte of i)dlure, anud the con- 
i'ised revi' ''^^i fvai^uicnts of elementary society ! r^ome were sad, while 
|ne4 wle L'^'n-y; and while the brave doubted, the- timid ;trpibled! 
V" ■': -^S confusion, it was suggested by our paptain, that we "Call a 
ni£chA)'u- tents, for the purpose of en<^cting a code of laws^fof 
' rv -MP nr. nf ■ the compm'y. The suggestion was proniiitry 
• /ore required to .up(>par in their legislative ccb- 
;-^ried, it was urgied-'^^Y ^be captain, as a reason 
;iiiacL a code of laws, that f'" individual of the party, had 
,;ire an Indian horse, and .^hut he had made arrangements 
is siuiul purpose, by proc;-i"g a rope, and setting out 
In view of this alarminjT staie of facts, it wa^ urged by 
•■^ over-righteous, thci th' ofleiiding^arty should be im- 
\i his trial, for this- ^^^'fvmous and :Wanton outrage upon 
Nis su<'''f^estion w-' ^^-O tomplied with, and tli-e 
Taigit?(l, wh'^ ioterS^,ising a plea to the juris- 

■lAl'U-' .^ti'\e "general issue." T]i6 

i>f, several speeches were d-e- 
^ dCi^^'iciations of such highly^ 
i^sc^er at the bar of imaginary 
foil'-: he part of the accused, that 
, viewed, by the advocates of '-ex- 
,t all ; that to talk of taking an In- 
fw: malum ])rohibiium. It was not 
jthing, as he had do7ie nothing. It 
.,' for in our infant state of society, we 
iy consisted of the wdiole company, who 
4 almost unanimously, rendered their 
iccused was discharged, and permitted 
terminated t%^ first jury trial, in our 
It was e^* ely simple, yet purely 
minati» ^t did, afforded no valid ^ 

- vff \]that view, and many •■ 

* for which they assem- * 

di-d to the discharge of 
•n. A committee was, 
J future government of' 
/nost sai.guine expecta 
^ its opinion, no code 





kws was requisite, other than the moral code, enacted by the ' • ■" 

the universe, and which is found recorded in the breast of ; 
Tiiis report was adopted by an overwhelming ma,jority, thf 
of which was, that no code of human laws was enacted; 
peared to be a strong determination ori the part of some, to t.. 
in the v/ay of legislating-. In accordance with this determinatio.. 
cree was passed, which required the immediate and the indiscriminai^. 
termination of the whole canine race, old and young, male and female, 
wherever they might be found, within our jurisdiction. This decree was 
passed by a very smalt majority, and it gave great dissatisfaction, espe- 
cially to the owners of the animals whose extermination it contemplated. 
Those wiio ilivored its enforcement, insisted that the subjects of "the de- 
cree of death," however athletic they might be, could not possibly be 
taken through; that they would die before they had traveled half the dis- 
tance: and that, by their incessant barking and howling, they_ would no- 
tify the Indians of our locality when encamped. On the oiher baud,,' it 
was insisted that, if they died on the way, that would be the loss of^he 
owners, and, consequently, their business; and that if they did n^'if'/ttt 
Indians of our position, they would*also notify us of theirs; an'' . ■ 
the conclusion was drawn, that the advantages more than count 
tlie dit-advantages. Notwithstanding this conclusion, several 
slain under the inconsiderate decree, when the opposition b< 
general and determined. The owners of the most VLtluabl- 
declared in the most positive terms, that "if any man s). 
dogs, they would kill him, regardless of all consequenc 
killers," however, now went out "armed and equipped" 
quired, with a full determination to discharge their /6o?i; ; 
(51/^9 duty; but they were promptly met by the owners ''^'■•■ 
"armed and equipped," and prepared for any emerg 
povtant crisis, the captain thought proper to convene ^ •, \ '■ 

in its legislative capacity, which being done, the "d .;,' dt^jree,'; as it ^yo.s 
called, was almost unanimously abrogated. This /" '*- 
effort at legislation. This legislative rebuff, ho > 
difficulty which we here encountered. 

Our misfortunes were heightenet, |r fliseti^e arid de 
and child of a Mr. Lancaster were lai.^n v ,,y;' ilL 
died. Mrs. Lancaster remained very low u c-^yQveTiii daje,, during which 
time, the company remained in camp ; btjv a.-4iiere \va^TMfi'^<5 prospects of 
her immediate recovery, and as ar.y co aside able <Jef ay in this section, 
might be attended with fatal consequer.ces to'he v'-Jiole company, Mr. 
Lancaster determined to return to the States, vi.\ich. iie could very safely 
do, as we were but a few days travel from tb; ,Mr\ssouri line, and as we 
had passed no hostile Indians.' Upon arrivii"^., &,',;,is determination, we 
continued our journey, and Mr. Lancaster rt,iettjd to the States, where 
he safely arrived, as I have since learned. \i e passed on now very 
agreeably, with the exception of the occasi'.nal expression of dissatislae- 
tion with our officers, which, however well yumled, grated harshly upon 
the ears of the order-observing, and law-a>j|inf* portion (4' the company. 
In a very few days, we met a company a-^iit^Mclers from Fort Larimie, on 
their way to the States, with their relurns,^.:^ ■' rs and buli'aio robes, which 
they had accumulated during the previous >rrv r. These furs and robes 
were transported in wagons, drawn by o Here many of om- party 

d lasn 

The vv'if. 
child soon 


for the first time, saw the buffalo. The only ones, however, which ihey 
saw here, were eight or ten buffalo calves, which the traders had domes- 
ticated for Lhe St. Louis market; and so completely domesticated were 
they, that they followed the cows, which had been taken out for that 
purpose, with very little trouble to the drivers. This meeting afforded a 
very favorable opportunity for forwarding letters to the States, of which 
many of the party were happy to avail themselves. We were informed, 
by this party, that we would find the buffalo upon the Platte, a few days 
travel below the confluence of its north and south branches : upon arri- 
ving at which place, we did find them in the greatest abundance imagina- 
ble. No adequate conception can be formed of the immensity ot' :he 
numerous herds, which here abound. The entire plains and prairies are 
densely covered, and completely blackened with them, as far as the most 
acute vision extends. Now the most feverish anxiety, and confused ex~ 
citri>nent prevails. Those who are accustomed to buffalo hunting, are 
almost instantly upon their fleet horses, and in chase, while those una^ 
custfkmed to such scenes, "green horns," as they are called, are in the 
greiteVt confusion, adjusting saddles and martingals, tightening girths ami 
spi;rs, ^,!ading guns and pistols, and givfng their friends, wives and chil- 
dr^'u, a|I manner of assurances of their unparalleled success. They 
i ">w ready, and like the mountaineer, they dart away, as with 
'•^ light ; but they soon observe tliat they are far in the rear of 
•'?er, who is now amid the bufl!alo, slaying them on the right 
"ront and rear. But stimulated by the loud thundering 
oimds, produced by the confused rushir%Lforth of (he 
(htened buflalo, as well as by the extraoiJimi]-y success 
" ^er, diey ply the spur with renewed energy; and giving 
"s-Hpose rein, they are soon in the vicinity o( the scene 
*^ ^ i..Mi, ^ . v3i iji the scene of action,' for to their utter sur- 
pif , and 'iitcleiJkie vexation, their heretofore faithful steeds, now de- 
cline the; a' I noiwithstanding tlie renewed application of the 
spar, they iferel/ h> j. snort and phmge, but keep a respectful distance, 
aniil they arrive in thf-^.^idst of the slain buflalo, which have been left by 
tiie mountaijiieer. Hei'> their lii>idity is increased, and taking a new 
fright, they dart and lea] away \^.i^i great velocity, and notwithstanding 
the firm and steady res raint oftb sturdy rider, they soon meet the 
moving caravan, to tlio li>finite (rati;v,r.tion of the mountaineer, the utt^r 
astonishment of the " grci.^r/iVnn," and the sad disappointment of the 
frieiids, wives and (thih'rei: who had anticipated so much from the first 
grand debut in buffalp ]' fifing. The experienced hunter is soon seen re- 
turning to the camp, with us ]iorse heavily laden with the choicest portions 
of some of the luimero^ulmfialo which he has slain. In order that the 
cx)mpany may now obtaif a supply of the delicious fresh meat, with 
which the plains are strwed, it is directed to encamp, which having 
been done, all are soon ahuxlandy supplied. Having been a few days 
among the buffalo, and their horses having become accustomed to diese 
terrific scenes, even the "gren horn," is enabled, :t only to kill the 
buflalo with much expenness but he is also frequend; ^een, driving them 
to the encampment, with as'' uch indifference as he used formerly to 
drive his domestic <;attle aboutfhis own fields, in the land of his nativity. 
Giving the buflalo lapid chase br a few minutes, they become so fatigued 
and cou/pletely exh 'isted, tliat they are driven from place to place, Miith 



as little difficulty as our common cattle. Both the grown buffalo and the 

calves, are very frequently driven in this manner to the encampment, [ 

where they are readily slaughtered. i 

By this time, the party had become greatly incensed with th*^ officers, 
and had determined upon holding an election, for the purpose of electing 
other officers. Accordingly an election was held, wliich resulted in the 
election of myself to the first, and a Mr. Lovejoy to the second office of 
our infant republic. This election gave some dissatisfaction, to a few of 
the party, especially the disaffi^cted and disappointed office-holders and 
office-seekers, who now, together with a few others, separated themselves 
from the main body, and went on a few days in advance, to Fort Larl- 
mie, where they had been but a few days, when the main body arrived. 
Upon arriving at Forts Larimie and John, we were received in a very 
kind and, friendly manner by the gentlemen of those forts, who extended 
every attention to us, while we remained in their vicinity. While here 
several of our party disposed of their oxen and wagons, taking horses in 
exchange. This ihcy were induced to do, under the impression that their 
wagons could not be taken to Oregon, of which they were assured by the 
gentlemen of those forts, and other mountaineers. Many others of the 
party,disposed of their cows and other cattle, which had beconivi tender 
footed, as from this cause, it was supposed, that they would soon- i. iiiithle 
to travel; but we found by experience, that by continued dr' g, their 
hoofs became more and more hardened, until they liad entirel) itcoveitd. 
Before leaving these forts, the disaffected of our party, proposed to unife 
^eir destinies again with ours; but the main body being so exasperited 
with their former course, for some time refused their conscit, yet in vu3w 
of the fact, that they must either travel with us, remain at there -fort •, or 
return to the States, they were permitted to join us again, when, we were 
once more, enabled to continue our toilsome, yet interesting journey. 

Leaving these forts, we had traveled but a few miles, when we met a 
company of trappers and traders, from Fort HalL on their' way to the 
States, among whom was a Mr. Fitspateric, who j^Mned ouf party, as a 
guide, and traveled with us, as such, to Green river. From 'this gende- 
man's long residence in the great western prairies, and the I^ocky moun- 
tains, he is eminently qualified as a guide, of which fact, we were fully 
convinced, from the many advantages which we derived from his valuable 
services. He was employed by Dr. White, who had received the appoint- /^ 

ment ^ Indian agent of Oregon, and who wa; under the impression, that 
our government would defray all such expenses ; which impression, how- 
ever, I think, was entirely unfounded. Perfect unanimity of feeling and 
purpose, now having been fully restored, we passed on very agreeably, 
and with little or no interruption, until we arrived at Sweet-water, near 
Independence rock. Here we had the misfortune to lose a young man, 
by the name of Bailey, who was killed by the accidental discharge of a 
gun. As the ball entered at the groins, and passed entirely through the 
body, it was readily seen, that the wound must prove fatal. He survived 
but about two hours, which, to him, were hours of excruciating suffering, 
and tojis, those of gloomy despondency and grief. He was an amiable 
young man, a native of the state of Massachusetts; latterly from the ter- 
ritory of Iowa. Being a blacksmith by trade, the party sustained a great 
loss in his death ; not only, however, in reference to his services as a m.e- 


chanic, but also, in reference to the important protection, which each 
afforded to the other, in this wild region of savage ferocity. While he 
survived, every possible exertion was made to afford him relief, but all to 
no purposj. He constantly insisted that it was utterly impossible for 
him to recover, that immediate death was inevitable. The physician now 
gave up all hopes of his recovery; his voice faltered ; death was depicted 
upon his countenance : and every thing seemed to indicate a speedy re- 
turn of his immortal spirit, " to God who gave it," yet, even now, he was 
to be heard, urging us all, in the most emphatic language, to be more cau- 
tious in the future, and, thereby, avoid similar accidents. He now took his 
" eternal leave " of all, in the most solemn and affecting manner, at the 
same time, most earnestly admonishing us, " to prepare for a like fate, 
should it be our unhappy lot, and, at all events, to make a speedy prepa- 
tion for death and eternity! " This was truly a most solemn and awful 
scene ; and these admonitions, coming from such a source, and under 
such circumstances, must have produced an impressive and lasting effect! 
He expired in the evening, and the burial took place the next morning. 
The grave having been prepared, at the foot of a mountain of considerar 
ble altitude, about eighty rods southwest, from the usual encampment, 
we now followed to the grave, the second corpse of our little company ! 
As we thus marched along, in solemn procession, the deepest gloom and 
solemnity, was depicted upon every countenance, and pungent and heart- 
felt grief pervaded every breast ! While we were silently and solemnly 
moving on, under arms, " to the place of the dead," the sentinels were to be 
seen, standing at their designated posts, alternately meditating upon the 
solemnity of the passing scene, and casting their eyes watchfully around as 
if to descry the numerous and hostile foe, with whom'we were everywhere 
surrounded, and thus, to avert accumulating danger! At the same time, 
the young man, who was the unwilling instrument of this, our trying ca- 
lamity, was also to be seen, walking to and fro, suffering the most ex- 
treme mental agony; apparently noticing nothing that was transpiring 
around ; seemingly Imconscious of every thing, but his own unhappy 
existence, and the sad departure of his, and our lamented friend ! The 
ordinary rites, after interment, having been performed at the grave, the 
company returned in the same solemn manner, to the encampment, where 
all sat down in silent mournful mood, contemplating the many trying 
scenes of the desolating past, and anticipating the dieaded fearful future ! 
Having spent several days at this place, and having, in the mean time, 
procured an additional supply of meat, re-elected our officers, and made 
ail other necessary prepiiratory arrangements, we, once more, set out up- 
on our dismal journey;^ when Ithought proper to issue an order, which 
required all, in the future, to carry their guns uncapped or primed. The 
propriety and importance of this order, were clearly manifested, by the 
sad occurrence just related, hence it was readily and promptly obeyed. 
Had such an order been previously issued and enforced, our deceased 
friend might still have lived, and instead of sadness and dismay, hilarity 
and joy might have pervaded our community; but we, unfortunately, 
like thousands of others, were mere sophomores in the great school of 
experience. The f ites, taking advantage of our want of experience, ap- 
peared really to have conspired against us ; surrounding us everywhere^, 
with the most inauspicious circumstances ; and crowding our lonely way 
with innumerable and unforseen dangers, and with death, as if determined 


to deluge the whole western wilds, with human misery, and to engulf us, 
their defenceless victims, in the deep, dark abyss of inextricable wo ; and 
thus, to feast upon our misfortunes, and exult triumphantly over our 
weakness and inexperience ! Sweet-water, was a bitter water to us ; if 
it even possessed any sweetness, it had lost it all now, for it afforded us 
nothing but the extreme bitterness of sore affliction and deep distress. 




Departure from Sweet-uater. Independence rock; examination of; inscrip- 
tion of names upon. Descmed by Indians; hostile attitude of; taken pris- 
oner by. Determination to escape. Change of purpose. Rude treat- 
ment. Attempt to take life. Great differences among the Indians. Par- 
tial reconciliation. A victim slain. A terrific scene. Arrival of elderly 
men. Orders to march. Fortunate occurrence. A co7isidtation; result of. 
Indian politeness. Discovery by spies. Indications of hostilities. Discov- 
ery of our party; contemplated attack upon; excitement in. Demands 
upon the chief. Reconciliation. Sm^dng the ''■pipe of peace." "Making 
meat.''' An accident. Hunters iSK^. Hostile movements. Guarding 
against. Increased numbers of ^^/jg^is; their flags. Battle array. A 
^' smoke''"' and '' talk.'''' Fmendship restored. Atrial; its result. Arrival 
at Green river. Leaving of wagons. Division of party. Prophetic specula- 
tions. Solemnity of parting. Arrival at Fort Hall. A meeting called. 

. Determination to leave wagons. Preparation to leave Fort Hall. Antici- 
pated difficulties. Arrival at Fort Boisia. A death. Airival at Dr. 
Whitmayi's mission. Divine service. An India?! sermon. Character of 
the doctor. Passing Fort Wallawalla The meihodist mission at the 
dalles. Arrival at the lower settlements in Oregon. Refections upon the 
'past, present and future. Dissatisfaction. Kindness of Dr. McLoughlin. 
Determination to leave the country. 

The company having left our unfortunate encampment, on Sweet-wa- 
ter, early in the morning, soon passed Independence rock, which will be 
described, in the description of the routes. A Mr. Lovejoy and myself 
stopped at this rock, with a view of spending a few hours, in examining 
its peculiar structure, as well as to observe the various names, there to be 
seen, of individuals who have passed that way ; and at the same time, to 
inscribe our own names, with the number of our company, the date of 
our passing ; and whatever else might occur to us, as being serviceable to 
tliose who might subsequently pass that way. Having provided ourselves 
with materials for lettering, we tied our horses at the foot of this extraor- 
dinary rock, where we also left our guns, and commenced our toilsome 
assent up the rocky declivity. The company had, in the mean time, 
gone on, supposing that we would find no^ difficulty in overtaking them, 
whenever we had accomplished our purpose. 

We had scarcely completed our labors, when we were surprised by 
the sudden appearance of seven Indians, who had descried us from some 


remote hill or mountain. They presented themselves to us, in the most 

hostile attitude, rushing towards us with the greatest vehemence ; uttering 
the most terrific and demoniac yells ; and with the most frightful gestures, 
seeming to design nothing but our immediate destruction. With drawn 
bows and guns, they thus rapidly advanced, while we were cautiously, 
yet hastily descending the rocky heights; winding our way with all pos- 
sible haste, to the point at which we had left our guns and horses, at which 
place, ourselves and the Indians arrived at the same time, when we im- 
mediately seized our guns, with a view of defending ourselves. But upon 
seeing us take our guns, they at once lowered their bows and guns, and 
extended their hands in friendship. We hastily took their hands, but as 
hastily proceeded to mount, and to prepare for our departure. We had 
scarcely mounted, when they evinced a determination to prevent our leav- 
ing. One of them held Mr. Lovejoy's mule by the bit, while others laid 
hold of his person ; and others still, stood around with drawn guns and 
bows. As we were now consulting in reference to the proper course to 
be pursued, under these peculiar and critical circumstances, their repeated 
demands to dismount, and their increasing determination and violence, 
forcibly reminded us of the eminent importance of immediate and decisive 
action. Finally, we determined to effect our escape, after having slain as 
many of our assailants as we could, which, perhaps, might have been five 
of the seven, as we, together, had that number of shots, upon which we 
might rely. Just, however, as we had arrived at the above determination, 
to our astonishment, we beheld the w^hole country, as far as we could see, 
completely covered with them, ra«jd^ dvancing towards us, with deafen- 
ing whoops and terrific yells. l^MB^eemed to have sprung up from bo- 
hind every rock, to have come do\^Ki'om every hill, and mountain ; and 
to have emerged from every valley and ravine. Our purpose was now, of 
course, changed, for resistance was out of the question; to attempt an 
escape by flight, was dangerous in the extreme, and to accomplish it was 
utterly impossible ; we, therefore, dismounted, and determined to reconcile 
our minds to our fate, be that \ik or death. Every thing around us, ap^ 
peared now, to indicate nothing but immediate torture, and ultimate death, 
to be inflicted by merciless savages. Their numbers had, by this time, 
increased to about two or three hundred ; and they were still arriving in 
great numbers. 

We were treated with the utmost rudeness ; our guns and pistols were 
taken from us; Avhen we were compelled to sit upon the ground, sur- 
rounded by a numerous guard, who performed its whole duty, not per- 
mitting us to change our positions in any manner, either to avoid danger, 
or to acquire comfort. From the time we were taken, every additional 
party that arrived, invariably offered some indignity to our persons, either 
by striking or attempting to strike us, with their bows, arrows, or the ram- 
mers of their guns. The chief, however, protected me from this insult, 
for which purpose, he constantly stood or sat by me ; yet he appeared un- 
able, or unwilling to protect my companion, who was repeatedly stricken 
with much violence. An attempt was made even to take his life, which 
fortunately failed. This murderous attempt, was made by an Indian who 
had just arrived, on horseback, and who appeared to be much more infur 
riated than his predecessors in barbarity. Immediately upon his arrival, 
he rushed most furiously upon Mr. Lovejoy, suddenly pressing his gun 
against his breast, and snapping it, but as it missed fire, he was foiled in 


his fiendlike purpose. At this critical crisis, a number of Indians gather- 
ed around Mr. Lovejoy, evidently with a view of protecting him. from fur- 
ther insult and danger, when unparalleled consternation and confusion 
prevailed. While many were most vehemently insisting upon our imme- 
diate destruction, others made the very welkin ring with their boisterous 
and clamorous declamations in our behalf, and no doubt Mr. Lovejoy and 
myself, owed our preservation entirely to their persuasive barbarous elo- 
quence. The influence of our eloquent defenders was so great, as to in- 
duce the chief to order six of his men to fire upon him, who had thu? 
rudely assailed my companion. They promptly obeyed the command, 
and had the offender not been making his escape with much rapidity, he 
would undoubtedly have been slain. Having galloped ofll' about two hun- 
dred yards, he commenced a most doleful lamentation, and becoming more 
and more enraged, he set up a tremendous howling and crying, at the 
same time, discharging his gun in the open air ; thus indicating, in terms 
not to be misunderstood, his determined and settled purpose of barbarous 
revenge. But opposition soon become so general, that he was convinced, 
that returning, with hostile purpose, would be attended with imminent 
danger. After some solicitation on the part of his friends, he was per- 
mitted to return, upon the condition, of his abandoning his hostile pur- 
pose, and conducting himself with proper Indian decorum. Having re- 
turned, he kept a respectful distance from the principal scene of action, 
and either standing or sitting, in most sullen mood, he appeared to take no 
part or interest in the subsequent transactions. Some new source of dis- 
cord appeared now, to have arisen, which gave rise to a most serious and 
animated discussion ; and judg ^ from their wild and angry tones and 
gestures, their boisterous and fie .^. «^leclamation; some were again in- 
sisting upon our decapitation, or u ^-tiction in some other manner, while 
others were again insisting upon our preservation. The discussion con- 
tinued to become more and more animated ; the dissatisfaction became 
greater; the breach became wider; some great difference evidently ex- 
isted, which, to us, appeared beyond a possibility of reconciliation ; the two 
contending parties stood forth against each other, in formidable array, as- 
suming the most uncompromising and hostile attitude. The noisy, wild 
discussion now ceased to some extent, and both parties were intensely en- 
gaged in loading and putting their guns in order for action. At this crit- 
ical time, for what purpose we knew not, twelve of them advanced thirty 
or forty yards from the main body, towards Independence rock, where 
they stood for a few moments, when all at once, and without any order, 
they discharged their pieces in the direction of a small rock, which was 
between them and Independence rock. We soon discovered that the vic- 
tim of their wrath, was a dog which had followed us, without our know- 
ledge, upon this, our unfortunate excursion. Upon firing at the dog, a 
most frightful scene ensued; one universal burst of indignation or exulta- 
tion, we knew not which, resounded through the air with most terrific 
and fiendish roar ; when all but the few who stood around us, as we sat 
upon the ground, rushed in quick succession, in single file, towards their 
slain victim, each as he passed which, either thrust his spear or lance into 
the dead carcase, struck it with his arrow, the rammer of his gun, or kicked 
it ; the thrust, blow or kick, being in every instance, attended with a most 
demoniac sbriek. They continued to repeat this frightful scene, for fifteen 
or twenty minutes, setting out from a point near us, they formed a vafit 


circuit around their victim, returning- to the same point, when they ar* 
rived at which, they invariably uttered the most indescribable whoops and 
yells, which could emanate only from the wild confusion and raging mad- 
ness of aboriginal barbarism. 

Some degree of quietude was again restored, but, in the mean time, my 
horse and Mr. Lovejoy's mule had been stripped of their saddles, bridles 
and martingals ; all the rings and straps had been cut from them ; my 
holster had been cut and spoiled ; and our arms were scattered, we knew 
not where, nor was it very material where, for we had very little use for 
a/rms^ and about as little for legs, as we were not permitted to stand or 
walk. Many were again, becoming more boisterous, when, fortunate for 
us, a number of elderly men, who were evidently, men of high distinction, 
just arrived, for whom, it appeared that the party had been thus long wait- 
ing. It was now, late in the afternoon, and we were taken early in the 
morning ; although the time of our detention, thus far, was short, it 'ap- 
peared long to us ; hours were, to us, as days ; the sun seemed reluctant 
to go down upon the wrath of our infuriated tormentors. A very elderly 
man, who was one of those that had just arrived, and who appeared to be 
the chief, in highest authority, after some general remarks, gave orders 
to march, to obey which, all were soon busily engaged in making their 
arrangements. Horses were provided for us, but not our own ; and soon, 
many of the party were on their march, but in the opposite direction from 
our company. The old chief, just referred to, happened, at this time, to 
pass near me, when I extended my hand to him, and accosted him in the 
ordinary manner, " How do you do ? " He readily accepted my hand, 
and replied in the Indian language. r7,'iere was a very small eccentric 
looking man, with the chief, whoni \ supposed to be a Canadian half- 
breed. I also offered him my han% with the same salutation, to which 
he replied, in the English language, " How do you do?" To my in- 
quiry whether he could speak the English language, he replied " yes." 
I then asked him if he would request the chief, and all those men to stop, 
and tell them that I wished to talk with them, before they went farther. 
He again replied " yes," and briefly addressed the chief, who commenced 
a loud harangue, to his men, and soon, those who had commenced their 
march returned, when all dismounted; and sitting upon the ground, side 
by side, formed a vast circle. The chief indicated by signs, that I and 
my companion, should sit near him, which w^e did, when I informed 
them that we were from the United States ; that we were sent by our and 
their " great father," the president, that we were going to the " great wa- 
ters," the Pacific, there to settle and remain ; that we were friendly with 
all the " red men," and that we wished to, and would treat them kindly. It 
had been reported among them, by some Canadians, at Fort Larimie, 
that we were going to join their enemies, the Black-feet, with whom they 
were then at war. This, I remarked, they must be satisfied, was false, 
especially as we had our women and children with us, of which they 
were aware, as they had seen them, at Fort Larimie and elsewhere. 
White men, I remarked, did not take their women and children when 
they went to war, nor did Indians. Your party, I said, is a war party, 
and you have no women or children, because they can not fight. I then 
assured them, if they would go with us, to our party, we would convince 
them of our friendly designs ; that we would trade with them, and make 
them presents; that if they went to our party, it became necessary to a^t 



out very soon, as it passed this place very early in the morning", and it was 
then late in the day. As soon as I had concluded, the interpreter to 
whom I have alluded, arose and addressed the chief for a few minutes, when 
he resumed his seat, but what he said, we were, of course, anahle to de- 
termine, as he spoke entirely in the Indian language, yet, our opinion 
was, that he was repeating what I had said. This opinion was confirm- 
ed^ from the fact that immediately upon his resuming his seat, the chief 
arose and spoke for about two minutes, apparently, with much feeling 
and determination. At the conclusion of his remarks, he evidently issued 
his order, requiring all to remount, and to change their course in the di- 
rection of our party, for all immediately mounted, and resumed their 
march in that direction. A much more friendly fc-eling was now mani- 
fested towards us ; we were directed to take our position, in the ranks, at 
the side of the chief We soon crossed a small creek, when I indicated 
to the chief, by pointing to the water, then putting my fingers to my lips, 
that I was thirsty ; upon observing which, he directed a man to dismount, 
and bring me some water, which direction was readily obeyed. Upon 
arriving with the water, the man first offered it to the chief, who refused 
to take it, but directed him to give it to me ; which he did, when I drank 
and returned him the cup, which he again offered to the chief, who again 
refused it, directing him to give it to xVlr. Lovejoy, who having drunk, the 
chief then received it and drank. We now traveled on, with much ra- 
pidity, the " pipe of peace," being constantly passed around, commencing 
with the chief, then to myself, Mr. Lovejoy, and the principal men, who 
were permitted to ride side by side with us, and who, I suppose, were 
subordinate officers. 

Having traveled in this manner, about two hours, the spies came gal- 
loping from the hills, informing the chief that they had made some discov- 
eries, which, whatever they were, were of such importance, that the 
chief, at once, ordered them all to dismount, which they did ; and com- 
menced examining their guns, re-loading those which had been discharg- 
ed ; examining their flints and locks, and putting their bows, arrows, 
spears and lances in proper order. Qur guns were then given to us, and 
we were required to re-load them ; when all painted their faces and bodies, 
as is their practice previous to going to war ; after which we were all 
Oi'dered to remount, and march, which we did ; but, we marched with 
much more confusion and disorder than before. The whole aspect of 
things, appeared to have undergone a material and fearful change ; from 
harmonious, peaceable and friendly, to the most tumultuous and hostile. 
Although we were permitted to ride, side by side, with the chief, as be- 
fore, yet, I frequently saw the Indians approach Mr. Lovejoy, from be- 
hind, \vith drawn spears, lances, or guns, as if with a view of terminating 
his existence. And Mr. Lovejoy informed me, that he observed the same 
conduct in reference to myself, of which, however, I had no knowledge. 
I here saw, for the first time, that what the spies had discovered, was our 
company, the tents and wagons of which were then in full vievv'. It ap- 
peared evident to us, from what we had "already seen and what was then 
transpiring, that they contemplated an attack upon our party, and we 
were soon confirmed in this opinion, from what subsequently followed. 
When they had approached within two or three hundred rods of our 
eamp. the young men, on each side of the chief, commenced a most furi- 


ous charge, and, at the same time, uttering the most alarming and frantic 
yells, which left no further doubt upon our minds, but that they intended 
to attack our camp ; unless turned from their purpose, by some fortui- 
tous circumstance. Perceiving the inevitable tendency of this course, I 
suggested to the chief, by signs, that he should require his men to discon- 
tinue their charge ; but he was deaf to my suggestion. I then took hold 
of his bridle, stopped his horse, and insisted that they must stop, other- 
wise, our men would be compelled to repel the assault. Being, by this 
time, satisfied that there was, perhaps, more danger than he had anticipa- 
ted, he addressed his men in a most animated manner, apparently directing 
them to resume their former friendly attitude, or at least, to discontinue 
their charge. This order was finally obeyed, though evidently, with 
much reluctance. Observing that our men were in the most confused 
state of excitement, I signified to the chief, that I would go to our camp, 
to which, however, he refused his assent ; but being determined to attempt 
it, at all hazards, I disregarded his dissent, and galloped away. Two 
young warriors, soon came galloping up by my side^ insisting that I 
should return ; but I answered them merely by telling them, by signs, 
that they must go back, or our men would shoot and kill them. This 
had the desired eflx^ct: they returned, and I increased my velocity, in the 
direction of our company. Upon arriving at the camp, I found the 
greatest imaginable confusion prevailing ; some insisting that they would 
fire, others opposing it : all was noisy, alarming disorder. 

Mr. Lovejoy now having also arrived in camp, and order having been, 
to some extent, restored, I proceeded, through our Canadian interpreter, to 
make certain demands upon the chief The first demand v/as, that he, 
immediately, send to our camp, my horse, and all other property which 
his men had kept, which belonged either to Mr. Lovejoy or myself This 
demand he readily complied with, as far as he was able; for, as he said, 
he could find but one of my pistols, which he returned, together with every 
thing else which his men had taken, with the exception of Mr. Lovejoy's 
bridle and martingal, which he pretended were beyond his reach, and 
not to be found. 1 then demanded, that he march his men away to a cer- 
tain point of timber, and encamp during the night; to comply with which, 
he, at first, positively refused, insisting that an old chief, in his own coun- 
try, had a right to encamp wherever he pleased ; but he finally consented, 
when I informed him that when he had encamped, as directed, he would 
be permitted to return, with his chiefs and principal men ; and smoke, 
with us, the "pipe of peace," when we would trade with them, and make 
him some presents. Of course, he, with several of his principal men, 
soon returned, much more anxious, however, to receive the promised 
presents, than to enter into the contemplated peace arrangements. Hav- 
ing formed a vast circle, all sitting upon the ground, side by side, the 
*'pipe of peace" was soon called into requisition, which was most indus- 
triously passed and re-passed from "white chief to "red chief," and from 
"white brave" to "red brave," until we had burned several ounces o-f 
smoking tobacco, upon the altar of peace ; the dense fumes of which, were 
cnrling thickly in the atmosphere above; appeasing the wrath of the 
"god of war," dispelling native animosity ; and restoring mutual con 
fidence, friendship and peace. After having concluded our "smoke," we 
traded some with them, and gave them some presents, when they left us 


apparently with all good feeling-, which they expressed in every possihle 
manner, of which savage barbarism is capable. 

From this encampment we traveled a few days up Sweet-water, where 
we encamped for the purpose of "making meat," as it is calhd. Here, 
while some were engaged in hunting the bufliiio, which were very abun- 
dant, others remained in camp, for the purpose of protecting it, and dry- 
ing and preserving the meat, which was daily brought in, by the hunters. 
While we remained at this place, there was another accidental discharge 
of a gun, which produced much alarm, especially among the ladies, yet 
no injury resulted from it, other than a slight flesh wound in the foot, of 
a small child, which was sitting in a wagoti, through which the ball p^.ss- 
cd. At this encampment, the Indians again, exhibited many indications 
of their hostile intentions. The small hunting parties, which were sent 
out for the purpose of hunting the buffiilo, were not unfrequently robbed 
of both their meat and horses, and sent to camp on foot, happy in having 
made so fortunate an escape. And they not only frequently robbed the 
hunters, but they also came to us in great numbers; riding and parading 
around our camp, insisting upon being permitted to mingle with us, which, 
however, I absolutely refused; and at the same time, informed them, that 
any attempt to approach us, would be met with prompt resistance. In 
order, however, to obviate the necessity of forcible resistance, I thought 
proper, to terrify them from their hostile purposes, by appearances. Ac- 
cordingly, I drew the men out, in front of the camp, assuming as 
formidable an appearance as possible, and at the same time, giving them 
assurances of our friendly feelings : but determined purpose, to resist any 
attempt, to approach our encampment. This course had the desired ef- 
fect; seeing our firm determination to resist them, they loitered about our 
camp a few hours, when they confusedly dispersed, amid the wild roar of 
savage clamor. 

Leaving this encampm.ent, we saw nothing more of them, for several 
days ; but coming again, upon a tributary of Sweet-water, we met with 
them, in increased numbers. They numbered, at this place, not less, per- 
haps, than one thousand or fifteen hundred. Their numbers being now, 
so increased, and it being unknown w^hether they were hostile, I thought 
proper to encamp, for the purpose of receiving and disposing of them, as 
circumstances might require. Accordingly, we encamped, when they 
advanced with much rapidity, and with most furious whoops and yells, 
displaying, at the same time, their flags of most beautiful and variegated 
colors. I now, gave them the signal to stop, which they promptly obey- 
ed, dismounted, and planted their flag-staffs ; exhibiting their colors to the 
best possible advantage. They were now arrayed, fronting our camp, at 
least, fifty abreast, and ten or twelve deep ; and our greatest anxiety, of 
course, was to ascertain whether they were peaceably inclined ; for 
which purpose, my horse having been saddled, I mounted and galloped 
out to them, when I informed them, that we would " talk" with them 
a few minutes, " smoke" with them, and give them some presents, when 
we were desirous of continuing our journey. The chiefs having mani- 
fested their approbation of this course, I invited them to our camp, to 
*' talk" and " smoke" Avith us, and receive the presents, when we would all 
disperse. They accepted the invitation, and started with us to our camp ; 
but as we started, the main body of the Indians also started to go with us, 


to have permitted which, would have been dangerous in the extreme ; I, 
therefore, remarked to the chiefs, that the invitation, was only extended to 
them, and that, we would expect the residue of the Indians, to remain 
where thoy were, as much confusion, and perhaps, difficulty, might result 
from their intermingling- with our people. They replied through their 
interpreter, in their brief manner, " it is good," " it is right." Then turn- 
ing to their men, they gave them orders to remain, until they should re- 
turn. We then proceeded to our "talk," and "smoke," which engaged 
our attention about two hours ; when we distributed the promised pres- 
ents among them, took our leave of them, and pursued our journey; 
while they returned to their villages, with the kindest feelings and the 
warmest friendship, for the " while man of the East." As we passed 
their villages, which were but a few hundred yards from our route, hun- 
dreds of the women and children thronged our way, gazing upon us with 
the utmost astonishment; and many of the men followed us, even until 
night, when, after having effected many profitable trades in horses and 
mules, they returned to th^^r villages, rejoicino- in the happy anticipation, 
of the extraordinary advantages, to be derived from their new acquaint- 
ances, thus favorably formed. 

A few days subsequently, a rather serious difference occurred, which 
arose from the refusal of one of our men, to stand his guard, in confor- 
mity to the regulations of the party. His refusal being reported to the 
proper officers, he was subjected to a trial, and found guilty, when the 
ordinary sentence v/as passed upon him, to v/hich, he refused to submit. 
The officers, however, informed him, that he Avould be required absolute- 
ly, to comply with the sentence, or submit to expulsion from the party; 
after which, he would not be permitted either to travel, or encamp with 
the company. As he still refused to comply with the sentence, ten men 
were ordered to arm themselves, and remove him, and his effects, at least, 
one mile from the encampment. They accordingly repaired to his tent, 
informing him of their orders, and determination to carry them into effect, 
unless he should, immediately, agree to comply with the sentence. He 
still remained obstinate, refusing to comply, and at the same time, ap- 
peared to be making arrangements for his defence, against any attempt 
to effect his forcible removal. No one, however, apprehended the least 
danger from any movement on his part; for we had already, witnessed 
several exhibitions of his bravery. The men designated to remove him, 
now informed him, notwithstanding his threats, that it became their duty 
to remove him from the encampment, " dead or alive," and that they in- 
tended to discharge that duty at all hazards. This decided course soon 
brought him to his senses, when he, through a friend of his, or rather, a 
friend of order, suggested that he be allowed a re-hearing, which was ac- 
cordingly granted him, by the officers. On the following day, after ar- 
riving at the encampment, a jury was summoned to investigate and deter- 
mine the matter, who, after having heard the evidence, and deliberated 
for a few moments, acquitted the violator of orders, upon the condition 
that he, thereafter, punctually discharge every duty devolving upon him, 
in reference to standing guard, and otherwise ;" which he did afterwards, 
with unusual punctuality. He had so profited by this lesson, that day or 
night, rain or shine, he was always to be found at his post; or from it, 
as the various orders happened to suggest. 

Nothing further, worthy of remark, occurred until we reached the 


Colorado of the west, or Green river, where we encamped for several 
days. During our stay at this place, it was sugg-ested that we leave our 
wagons, in order to facilitate our progress. This proposition was made, 
and insisted upon, by those who had an anxiety to reach Fort Hall, at an 
early day, for reasons unknown to us ; and for the promotion of interests 
foreign from ours ; yet, so urgently was it insisted upon, and so cogent 
were many of the reasons, which were urged, that several of the party 
determined to leave their wagons, and to prosecute the residue of their 
journey on horseback ; while I, together with a majority of the party, 
was of the opinion, that it was not necessary to leave the wagons, conse- 
quently, we determined to take them to Fort Hall, at least, that being the 
extent to which they had been previously taken. We accordingly, pro- 
ceeded to make our arrangements to go on with our wagons, leaving 
those behind, who had determined to leave theirs, as they were under 
the necessity of converting them into packsaddles, which, by the by, 
was attended with much labor and inconvenience. Our guide, Mr. Fitz- 
pateric, concurring in opinion, with those who had determined to leave 
their wagons, remained with them, the consequence of which was, that 
we were under the necessity of prosecuting the residue of our journey- 
without a guide ; unless we should accidentally fill in with one, else- 
where. Many of those who designed to leave their wagons, urged us to 
leave ours also, insisting that if we took them on, we would arrive at 
Fort Hall, so late in the season, that we would be under the necessity of 
remaining there during the winter ; or that we would perish in our at- 
tempt to cross the Blue mountains. Others insisted that as we had no 
guide, it would be utterly impossible for us to find our way to Fort Hall, 
and that, consequently, we would inevitably, perish by the way. We, 
however, confident in our own ability to do what others had done : and be- 
lieving that " some things could be done as v/ell as others,'' determined to 
pursue our journey at all events, and at all hazards, with, or without a 
guide, as circumstances might determine. Seeing our determination, a 
Mr. Meek, who had formerly passed through that region, as far as Fort 
Hall, offered his services as.our guide. Believing that he might be found 
serviceable to us, to some extent, at least, we employed him, when we were 
soon in readiness for our departure. The order being given to march, 
our friends now crowded around us, for the purpose of taking their leave 
of us, and, at the same time, lamenting the necessity which impelled our 
separation. Some, still insisted upon our remaining, while others, in. 
their terrified imaginations, already saw us winding our fearful way over 
mountains of perpetual snow, falling victim to raging famine, and the 
piercing cold, of eternal winter ; and others still, by a more enlarged 
view of futurity, saw us very distinctly, deviating far from the proper route ; 
falling victim to the savage ferocity, of the more than barbarous Black- 
feet. There were others still, who not having as clear a view, as their 
friends, of the hidden mysteries of futurity, examined its dark pages, ia 
vain, for conclusive evidences of our destiny ; hence they determined, 
that separating now, we were separated forever ; that no traces of us 
would ever afterwards be found. Amid this disparity of prophetic opin- 
ion, as well as the urgent solicitations of our friends to remain, which 
were insisted upon with much anxiety and sincerity, even to the shedding 
of tears, we now took a most solemn and affectionate leave of each other ; 
some expecting to be so fortunate as to meet again at Fort Hall ; others 


never expecting to meet ag-ain in this world ; while others still, lost ali 
hope of uniting again, either in this world, or the Avorld to come. Leav- 
ing our obstinate friends, as we thought them, we now moved onward, 
while they resumed their extraordinary business of converting wagons 
into packsaddles. We had passed on but a few days, when contrary to 
oar own expectations, and contrary to all the lights of prophecy before iis^ 
we all arrived, about the same time, at Fort Hall ; we with, and they 
without their wagons. 

Upon arriving at this fort, we were received in the kindest manner, by 
Mr. Grant, who was in charge ; and we received every aid and attention 
from the gentlemen of tliat fort, during our stay in their vicinity. We 
were here informed, by Mr. Grant, and otljier gentlemen of the company, 
that it would be impossible for us to take ovr wagons down to the Pacjfic, 
consequently, a meeting of the party was called, for the purpose of de- 
termining whether we should take them further, or leave them at this fort, 
from which place it appeared, that we coaldl take them, about half way to 
the Pacific, without serious interruption. Some insisted that the great 
convenience of having wagons witli us, woi\ld amply warrant taking them 
as far as M^e could; while otliers thought, a^ we would eventually be un- 
der the necessity of leaving them, it v/ould be preferable to leave them, 
at the fort, especially as we could iliere oljtuin tools, and ail other means 
of manufacturing our packing equipage, wliidi we could not do elsewhere. 
Another reason which wns urged in favor of leaving them was, that 
we could, perhaps, sell them for something at this place, which we could 
do, at no other point upon the route. The vote h.aving been taken, it 
was found that a large vnajority was opposed to taking them any further, 
the consequence of which was, that there was no alternative for the mi 
nority, as our little government was purely democratic, Mr. Grant pur- 
chased a few of our wagons, for a mere trifle, which he paid in such 
provisons as he could dispose of, without injury to himself. He could 
not of course, afford to give much for them, as lie did not need them, but 
bought them merely as an accomm.oda'iion. Those who did not sell to 
Mr. Grant, got nothing for theirs ; but left them there, to be destroyed 
by the Indians, as soon as we had commenced our march. This was a 
serious loss, as most of the wagons and harness, were very valuable. 
Eight or ten days were occupied, in consummating our arrangements for 
tlie residue of our cheerless journey. In the interim, those of our com- 
pany, wh* left us at Gretn river, had accomplished their preliminary ar- 
rangements, and had gone on, several days in advance. We were ena- 
bled, at this fort, to exchange our poor and way-worn horses, for those 
which had not been injured by use ; having done which, to considerable 
extent ; having purchased many ; having procured such additional pro- 
visions as could be obtained ; and having convinced ourselves that we 
were invincible, we, once more, resumed our dangerous journey, over 
the burning sands, and through the trackless deserts of Oregon. 

Upon this portion of our journey, we had anticipated many difficul- 
ties and hardships, especially, as we were entirely unacquainted with our 
new method of traveling, and as we were unable to procure a guide ; yet, 
we proceeded with much less difficulty than we had anticipated. Arriv- 
ing at Fort Boisia, we were very kindly received and entertained by the 
gentleman in charge, M^ho kindly proffered to let us have such provisions 
as we needed, and to render us any additional service in his power. Here 


we learned that a young man, of the advance of our party, was drowned, 
in crossing Lewis' river. ■ It appeared that the portion of the party to 
which he belonged, crossed this river at the usual ford, which is consider- 
ed entirely safe, by those wiio are acquainted Avith it, but this young man 
deviating from the usual crossing, and disregarding the directions of his 
friends, was swept away in an instant. He soon became detached from 
his horse, and appeared to be standing permanently/ upon the bottom, 
when several called to him, requesting him to stand until they could come 
to his relief. He, however, not heeding, or perhaps, not hearing what 
was said to him, leaped fearfully from his position, as if with a view of 
swimmingto the shore, but he was swept away by the current, with the 
rapidity of lightning ; and neither himself, nor his horse, was ever seen, 
or heard of after. He was a German, the same unfortunate young man, 
who caused the death of Mr. Bailey, of which I have before spoken. 
The portion of the party to which I belonged, did not cross the river, but 
kept directly down it, upon the south side. Leaving Fort Boisia, the 
next place of note, at which we arrived, was a presbyterian mission, in 
charge of which, is a Dr. Whitman, who is a very kind and hospitable 
gentleman. He received us v/ith the utmost kindness and attention, and 
insisted upon our remaining a few days with him, in order- to obtain 
some relaxation of both body and mind, to which proposition, we fuially 
acceded. Our stay with the doctor, included the Sabbath, during which 
day,, we attended divine service, at his residence. In the forenoon, he 
delivered a discourse to the Indians, in their own language, to which they 
appeared to be very attentive, evidently comprehending the truths and 
doctrines inculcated. Having had a few hours intermission, we again 
convened, when the doctor delivered a very able discourse to our com- 
pany, the other members of the mission, and his family. Tliis scene 
was the more interesting to us, as we had then, for the last four mouths, 
heard nothing but the terrific howl of wild beasts of prey, and the furi- 
ous midnight yell, of a hostile and barbarous foe. Tlie doctor is not only 
a very kind and hospitable gentleman, but he is no doubt, a very good 
man, and a devoted christian. He appears to be rendering great ser- 
vice, in christianizing and civilizing the natives. We spent a few days 
at this place, during v/hich time, we were enabled to exchange many 
horses Avith the Indians, as vv^ell as, to purchase many, and also, to obtain 
our additional supply of provisions, which, having been done to the ex- 
tent that we desired, we again proceeded upon our dismal journey. 

The first day after leaving this mission we passed Fort Wallawalla, at 
which place we stopped but a few minutes, when we passed on, and in 
a few days, arrived at the methodist mission at t!ie dalles. Mr. Perkins 
is in charge of this mission. He bestowed every attention upon us, and 
rendered us every aid in his power. We, however, remained but a few 
days here, v/hen we, once more, re-commenced our pilgrimage ; and 
without any thing further worthy of remark, we arrived, on the fifth day 
of October, in the lower settlements of Oregon. The mind was now 
naturally thrown back upon the past, brouglit to contemplate upon the 
present, and led to anticipate the future. Having left the land of our na- 
tivity, having torn ourselves from our relatives and friends, having passed 
through innumerable dangers, both seen and unseen ; having been for the 
last four long months surrounded only by hordes of barbarous Indians, 
herds of wild beasts of prey, and danger and death in all their various 


and varied forms, we had now, arrived at our place of destination ; and 
were about to locate in the wild forests of Oregon. Here we v/ere, cut 
off almost entirely, from all communication with our connections and 
friends ; in a wild uncultivated region ; more than two thousand miles 
from the land that gave us birth ; with no promise of support or protec- 
tion from our government ; exposed to the inclemencies of a dreary- 
rainy season, of about five months, of almost incessant rain, hail, sleet 
j,'Uid snow ; without houses, without a sufficiency of clothing, or provis- 
ion ; entirely destitute of the means of agriculture ; and surrounded with 
innumerable savages, with vv^hose disposition as to peace or war, we 
were entirely unacquainted. Under these circumstances, we were very 
naturally led to inquire, Iiow long this state of things was destined to ex- 
ist. If this country is such as it has been represented, if it is so fertile 
and productive ; if it is so eminently calculated to promote the prosperity 
and happiness of man, will not our government, soon extend her juris- 
diction and laws over it, so as to insure our future protection; to encour- 
;;L'"e oniigration and to promote enterprise ? An affirmative answer to this 
(^iie; tiv.ii, ^vas all our hope, all our consolatiou, for otherwise, as circum- 
.'•.:n:iees and tbangs v;erc, we could see nothing to warrant this tremendous 
I?ap iiuo these dark and wild regions, of the " western world." The 
country did not appear to us, to be in reality, that delightful region which 
vfe had ilius long and laboriously sought. Dismay and .dissatisfaction 
apueareu to be visibly impressed upon every countenance, and deep dis- 
content pervaded every breast. All, however, soon obtained temporary 
residences, Doctor McLoughlin kindly proffered to render tliem any as- 
sistance in Ills power. He proposed to sell goods on a credit, to all those 
v>'ho were unable to make immediate pnyraent. He also comrnen-^ed 
buildiug extensively, at the falls of the Wallannnede, and thereby gave 
iiiiyncdiate employment, at the liighest wnges, to all those who wished to 
labor. Many engaged in labor for the doctor, others for the mission, 
while others selected, and settled upon their " claims," in the various por- 
lions of the country, improviug them as they best could, under these very 
;!ufavorable circumstances. In the spring, it was found that the dissatis- 
la( lion had, in a great measure, subsided, yet, m.any were still, much dissat- 
isfied', and determined to leave the country, as soon as an opportunity 
should }n-esent. Some desired to return to the States, while others de- 
termined to avail themselves of the first opportunity of going to Califor- 
nia, to wln'ch latter country, many of them> have subsequently gone^ 
where they are entirely satisfied. 



Boundary; by what authority established. Authority by which Bnlish sub- 
jects occupy Oregon. Natural divisions. Eastern, Western, and Middle 
sections. Different ranges of mountains. Description of Rocky mountains; 
their altitude; their passes; their spurs. Description of Blue mountains; 
their elevation; their spurs. Description of Cascade mountains; their 
peaks, various spurs. Description of rivers; Columbia; its source, course, 
and navigation. Upper and Lower dalles. Flat-bow river. Clarke's 
river. Upper and Lower lakes. Lake Kidlerspehn. Spokan river. Lake 
Cuer dWlene. Okanagan river. Lake Okanagan. Y'>Akama river. Piscous 
river. Entyatecoom river. Saptin or Lewis river. Kooskooske river. Salmon 
river. Wallawalla river. Umatilla river. Qu.isneVs river. .John Day's 
river. De' Chustis river. The falls, dalles and cascades. Wallamette river; 
its falls. Klackamus river. Fualiiine river. Yam-hill river. Putin river: 
Cawlity river. Frasier^s river. Stewarfs river. CJiilcotin river. Pinkslitza 
river. QuesncU's river. Chilkeelis river. Umpqua river. Rogue's river. 
Klamet river. Rise of rivers. 

The reader having now arrived in Oregon, he is, no doubt, anxious to 
enter upon an exploration of that much admired region. I will therefore, 
proceed with liira, to take that brief view of the country, which the title- 
page contemplates. The extreme brevit}^ of this description will, how- 
ever, undoubtedly, lender it more or less unsatisfactory ; yet I shall en- 
deavor to crowd together, as much useful and practical matter as possible, 
upon the fevv^ pagfs, which, from the very narrow limits of this little 
work, I am allowed to devote to this branch of my subject. 

Oregon territory is bounded on the east by the Rocky mountains ; on 
the south by Upper California ; on the west by the Pacific ocean : and 
on the north by the British possessions. The southern boundary was 
determined in the year 1819, by a treaty betvv^een the United States and 
Spain, which is commonly called the Florida treaty. It stipulates that 
the boundar)^ between the possessions of the two nations, west of the Mis- 
sissippi river, shall be as follov/s: " following the course of the southern 
bank of the Arkansas to its source, in latitude 42 degrees north, and 
thence, by that parallel of latitude, to the South sea." This boundary 
was confirmed by Mexico, as the successor of Spain, in the year 1828, 
consequently, there is no dispute or difference as to the southern boun- 
dary. The northern boundary was settled in 1823, by treaty between 
the United States and Russia, at 54 degrees and 40 minutes north lati- 
tude. These treaties then, fix and determine the boundaries, as between 
the United States, Spain, Russia and Mexico, wdiich are, in truth, the only 
powers that ever had any just claim, to any portion of that territory. 
Great Britain, however, latterly asserts a pretended claim, adverse to that 
of the United States, to a portion of that country. But so far from having 
any valid claim to any portion of it, she has no right even to occupy it ; other 
than that ri'ght guarantied to her, hy the convention of L9i8, the third ar- 
ticle of which provides, " that any country that may be claimed by either 
party, on the northwest coast of America, westward of the Stony moun- 
tains, shall, together with its harbors, bays and creeks, and the navigation 


of all rivers within the same, be free and open for the term of ten years, 
from the date of the signature of the present convention, to the vessels, 
citizens an.' subjects of the two powers. It being well understood, that 
this agreement is not to be construed to the prejudice of any claim, which 
either of the two high, contracting parties, may have to any part of said 
country." The same provisions were indefinitely extended by the con- 
vention of 1827; with the further agreement, however, "that it should 
be competent for either party, at any time after the 20th day of October, 
1828, on giving due notice, of twelve months, to the other contracting party, 
to annul and abrogate said convention.-' It is my purpose here, however, 
merely to state the boundaries of Oregon, to give the authority by which 
they are established; and to give the authority by which, the subjects of 
Great Britam occupy that country, conjointly with citizens of the United 
olatf s. Having done which, to an extent sufficient for ordinary purposes, 
i will now. enter upon a more detailtd description of Oregon territory. 

This territory is naturally divided into three distinct divisions or sec- 
lions, which, for convenience, I shall call the Eastern, Middle and Western 
sections. The Eastern section includes all that country between the 
Rocky and the Blue Mountains; the Middle section that between the Blue 
and the Cascade mountains; and the Western section, that between the 
Cascade mountains and the Pacific ocean. These ranges, which thus 
divide this country into distinct sections, together with their spurs, will 
now receive a more particular notice ; commencing with the Rocky 
mountains. The course of this range is, generally, from the southeast 
to the northwest ; and its distance from the sea is, generally, from 500 to 
1000 miles : it is of great altitude, and is usually covered with perpetual 
snow. The greatest elevations in all Oregon, are found in this range, 
many of which are more than 25,000 feet above the level of the sea. 
L'rom the foregoing remarks, and from the well known fact, of the entire 
sterility of all this range, it will be readily seen, that it is in no wise, 
adapted to the support of man or beast. Instead of vegetation and timber, 
in the more elevated regions of this range, nothing but mountains of 
eternal snow are any where seen. From the extraordinary altitude and 
sterility of this range, it would be utterly impassable, were it not for cer- 
tain gaps, or passes. Of these, there are five, which are -known, and 
through which emigrants, traders, trappers and Indians annually pass, in 
greater or less numbers, drprnding upon the inducements, and tho prac- 
ticability of the pass. The principal of these, is the well known great 
southern pass, at latitude 42 deg. north, through which companies of em- 
igrants and others, are annually passing, from the United States to Ore- 
gon and California. That through which the fur-traders ofthe Hudson's 
Bay Company annually pass, is situated between Brown's and Hooker's 
peaks; a third between the sources of Maria's and Clarke's rivers ; and a 
fourth is near the southern head waters of the Missouri; and the fifth is 
between Henry's fork of Lewis'river, and Big-horn, a branch of Yellow- 
stone. The first of the?e passes is much the most important, and hence, it 
will receive a further notice upon a subsequent page. 

This range, like all the ranges of this country, has numerous spurs, 
many of which, are also of extraordinary akitude. The principal of 
them, I will now briefly describe. The first, which I shall notice, is 
that lying north of Frasier's river, and in Avhich that river takes its rise. 
It has many high peaks, several of which are covered with snow the 




oreater part of the year. It is a vast concatenation of peak? and^b/ ^S'Us^ 
whicii are covered here and there, with a small growth of firs n •. ■ s. 

From this spur, another puts out for a considerable extent, dow ^ 1 ^ -i 

bia river; and another branch of the same spur, extends ''o;/n rmiv.i , ,. 
river, about the same distance. The altitude of both br nchc"? dtV this 
spur, is less than that at the source of Frasier's river, yet 't h;. several 
high peaks, near the Columbia. It is generally rather spart ly li,... :ei«ed ; 
bu^t in many places, it is covered with dense forests of low oim s _ A 
spur of lofty elevations, and of extraordinary sterility, lies south of i mi 
Hooker, in the great bend of the Columbia ; it is slightly covered with 
veg-etation and shrubs, but, generally, it produces no kind of vegetation 
whatever. Between the Flat-head and the Flat-bow rivers, there is an- 
other spur, which is quite similar to that just described, or, if possible, 
more sterile and worthless. Between the Flat-head and the Spokan, 
there is also another spur, which has several very elevated peaks. The 
greatest part of this spur, is thickly covered with trees, shrubs and the 
grasses. The only remaining spur, worthy o-f notice, in connection with 
this range, is that ranging near the Kooskooske river. It consists of 
high rugged cliffs and peaks, many of which are entirely destitute of 
timber, or vegetation, yet the less elevated portions of them, are thickly 
covered with firs, pines, and a thick undergrowth of shrubs and bushes, 
This spur appears to be connected with the Blue mountains, and to form 
a portion of that range. 

The Blue mountains commence between the forty-fifth, and the forty- 
sixth degrees of north latitude, and run south, to tlie southern boundary 
of Oregon, where the}^ intersect the Klamet range. They constitute a very 
irregular range, and are tliought by many not to be a distinct range, but 
to consist entirely of spurs of the Rocky mountains ; but tlie better opin- 
ion is, that they are, of themselves, a distinct range ; for tliey are entirely 
separated from the Rocky mountains, by several large valleys. The 
general cUrection of this range is about north and soutJi, and its distance 
from the coast is usually, from three to five hundred miles. Its altitude is 
much less than that of either of the other ranges mentioned, yet it has 
several peaks, which are about ten or eleven thousand feet above the level 
of the sea, and which are covered with perpetual snow. This range is 
much less sterile than the Rocky mountain range; it has numerous de- 
pressions, elevated plains, and valleys of limited extent, which produce' 
an abundance of grass, and most excellent timber ; consisting principally 
of fir, pine and cedar of the best quality. This range, like that before 
described, has numerous spurs, some of which are immediately connect- 
ed with the range, and others appear to have little or no connection with 
it ; but upon examination, are found to be spurs of that range. 

The Cascade mountains constitute that range which lies nearest the 
coast, and which is called the Cascade, or President's range. The 
course of this range is nearly parallel with the coast ; its average dis- 
tance from which, is from one to two hundred miles ; and it is surpassed in 
altitude only by the Rocky mountains. It has twelve lofty peaks, several 
of which are from twelve to eighteen thousand feet above the level of the 
sea, rising in perfect cones, and covered perpetually with snow. Five of 
these have received the names of the former deceased presidents of the 
United States. These names were given them, by a Mr. Kelley, a trav- 


eler isfpm the United States, several years ago, and they have ever siric6 
retain^ J them ; hence it is that this range is now called tlie Presidents' 
range/. T.'ie other seven of these extraordinary conical peaks, have re- 
ceive/d their names from various English travelers and navigators. But 
five of this seven, have latterly,received the names of five other presidents 
of jlhe United States. These names, I will also ado])t, as I much prefer 
our own names, for our own property. Tlie remaining two of these 
siiigular elevations, are called mount Fareweather, and mount St. Elias, 
both of which, are situated north of the northern boundary of Oregon. 
Now iiaving our own names for each of these, which are within our own 
territory, I will proceed to give a brief description of them, in their pro- 
per order. Mount Washington is situated near latitude 44° north, about 
seven leagues south of tlie cascades ; it is conical in form, rising about 
eighteen thousand feet above the level of the sea, and covered with per- 
petual snow, at least 12 thousand ket from its top downwards. Mount 
Adams is near the parallel of 45° north latitude, about eight leagues north 
from the cascades. About five hundred feet of its surface from its top, 
are covered with snow perpetually. Mount .Tefferson is a vast and lofty 
peak, situated near latitude 42° north ; it is also covered perpetually 
with snow, several thousand feet downward, from its top, and is seen 
from almost any part of ilie southern country. Mount Madison is near 
latitude 46*^ north ; it is a vast massive peak, covered with snow to a 
very great depth. Mount Monroe is also a vastly elevated peak, extend- 
ing far into the snowy region ; it lies near latitude 43° and 30' north, and 
is seen at a great distance. Mount John Q. Adams, situated at latitude 
42° and 10' north, is also a vast peak, towering high above the snow line. 
Mount Jackson is among the most elevated peaks, and is surpassed only 
by mount Washington; it is situated near the forty second degree of north 
latitude. Mount Van Buren is a very high peak, situated on the isthmus, 
between the Pacfic and Puget's sound. Mount Harrison is also a very lof-^ 
ty peak, terminating in regions of perpetual snow ; it lies about forty 
miles west from Puget's sound. Mount Tyler, being vastly elevated 
and covered with snow, is seen at a very great distance ; it lies about 
eighty miles north from mount Harriscin. All these are most extrt^ordi- 
nary conical formations; some of which are seen from every part of the 
country. Here, wherever you are, you behold these ancient pyramids 
of eternal ice and snow, fearlessly rearing their majestic heads, high in 
the ethereal regions, amid the howling tempest, the flashing lightnings, 
and the roaring thunders above ; presenting their eternal battlements, in 
bold defiance of. the foammg billows, the raging floods, and the quak- 
ing and volcanic earth below. Enduring monuments of time ! All this 
range of mountains, is much less sterile than those before described. It 
has numerous elevated plains and valleys, and extensive depressions, all 
of which, abound with vegetation of various kinds ; lofty trees of fir, 
pine, cedar and oak, of most extraordinary growth. 

Besides the main ranges of mountains here described, there are several 
other smaller ranges, worthy of notice, which appear to have very little 
connection with the main ranges, yet in some instances, may be traced as 
spurs of those ranges. Among tliem is the Claset range, which 
lies on the north side of the Columbia, running in a north westerly di- 
rection, along the straits of Juan deFucas, to the waters of Pugets' sound. 
This range has many high peaks, a number of which rise very consid- 


erably above the snow line, but from their proximity to the sea, they are 
covered with snow, only about nine months of the year. It is generally 
covered with dense forests of fir, pine and cedar of immense growth. 
A small range also extends from the cascades, on the north side of the 
Columbia, to cape Disappointment on the coast. This range has many 
depressions and elevated plains, and is, generally, covered with dense fiV 
and pine forests. There is a similar range to that just described, also on 
the soudi side of the Columbia, which commences at the cascades, and 
running nearly parallel with that river, terminates near its mouth. It is 
a continuous succession of low mountains and hills, having no elevations 
of more than about three thousand feet above the level of the sea, the 
greatest of which, are near the cascades. This range is also covered 
with stately pines and firs, of centuries growth, and of unparalleled di- 
mensions. There is still another range, Avhich extends along the coast, 
from the straits de Fucas, to Upper California. Its greatest elevations 
are immediately upon the coast, where they present high, dark ciifT's of 
basaltic rock, which are seen at a very great distance from the ocean. This 
range descends gradually from the coast to the east, terminating in un- 
dulating plains. That portion of it nearest the coast, is generally entirely 
destitute of timber or vegetation, and presents a very irregular, broken 
and stony surface ; but the east side presents those dense forests, undula- 
ting plains and prairies, peculiar to this section of Oregon. The last 
range which I shall notice, is that called the Klamet range, which is per- 
haps, properly a spur of the Rocky mountains. It extends from the 
Rocky mountain range, in latitude 42° north, in a direction west by 
north, to the Pacific ocean, and has many high peaks covered with snow. 
In its course from the Rocky mountains to the Pacific, it is intersected by 
the Blue mountains and the Cascade or Presidents range. It is usually 
destitute of timber, and in many places, entirely devoid of all kinds of 

The rivers next deserve our attention. The principal of these, is the 
Columbia, which is a grand and majestic stream. It is about fifteen hun- 
dred miles in length, including its meanders, entering the Pacific ocean, 
at latitude 46 degrees north. The general course of this river, from the 
confluence of its two great branches, is about west by south. Its north- 
ern branch takes its rise in the Rocky mountains, at latitude 50° north, 
and longitude 116° west. The course of this branch, from its source to 
McGillivarys' pass, at the base of the Rocky mountains, is generally, 
about northwest. This pass is at latitude SS'' north, where those trav- 
eling from Oregon to Canada, make a very extensive portage, which is at- 
tended with much difficulty and danger. The river, at the base of the 
Rocky mountains, is 3,600 feet above the level of the sea, and its waters 
are urged down with great rapidity. Here, bearing to the south, it runs 
but a few miles, when it passes through a very narrow rocky channel, 
which is called the Upper dalles, through which, the waters are thrown 
with such tremendous force, that they whirl and dash with such violence 
as to produce a most frightful appearance. About thirty miles below the 
Upper dalles, are the Lower dalles, which like the Upper dalles, is a nar- 
row channel, walled in by immense ledges of rocks, through which also 
the waters pour with great force. These dalles, seriously interrupt the 
navigation of the river, and detract very much from the importance of 
the surrounding country. From the Lower dalles, the river continues 


the same course, to Fort Coliville, in its course to which place, it re- 
ceives several tributaries, among' which are Kootanie, or Flat-bow, and 
the Clarke rivers from the east, and that of Coleville from the west. In 
its course to this place, it also forms a line of lakes, two of which I will 
now briefly describe. They are called the Upper and Lower lakes, the 
former of which, is about twenty miles in length, and about five in width. 
It is situated in an extremely rough and mountainous country, surrounded 
by high towering cliifs, and dense forests of pines. Between this and 
tlie Lower lakes are the " straits," as they are called. Here, for an ex- 
tent of about five miles, the waters are compressed into a very nai row chan- 
nel, througli which they are thrown with great impetuosity. The Lower 
lake is about twenty five miles in length, and six in Vv^idth. It has, in its 
vicinity, forests of beautiful timber, and limited prairies and plains, of fer- 
tile land. Clarkes' or Flat-head river, enters the Columbia but a hw miles 
above Fort Coleville. It takes its rise near the head waters of the Mis- 
souri river. It is a large stream, and has as much the appearance of be- 
ing the main river, as does that portion which is called the Columbia. 
The lake Kullerspelm is formed by this river, in its course, about one 
hundred miles above its junction with the Columbia. This lake is about 
thirty-five miles in length, and eiglit in width. The immediate country 
through which tliis river passes, is extremely mountainous and sterile, 
with the exception of that in the vicinity of the lake, much of which is fertile 
and delightful. Hootanie or Flat-bow river, also has its source in the 
Rocky mountains, and running in a westerly direction to the Columbia, it 
passes through a higli broken region, yet it passes through some tolerably 
extensive and fertile valleys. lis length, following its meanders, is about 
three hundred and fifty miles, a very small portion of which, is naviga- 
ble, for any other craft, than canoes and barges. 

From Coleville, the Columbia continues a westerly course, receiving a 
tributary from the east, called the Spokan, which takes its rise in the Lake 
Cauer d' Alene, among the spurs of the Rocky mountains. This river 
has worn its way through a vastly mountainous and sterile region. Its 
banks are generally high basahic cliffs, covered in some places, with 
sturdy pines and lofty cedars. In the surrounding country, are found 
some limited valleys and plains, many of which produce abundance of 
vegetation, and are surrounded by dense forests of good timber. This 
river, can not be said to be navigable, for any kind of craft, except such as 
barges and canoes. The lake in w^hich it takes its rise, is about thirty 
miles in length, and ten in breadth. There are some very fertile plains 
and valleys in the vicinity of this lake, which produce an abundance of 
grass and timber, as well as a great variety of wild fruits. The Colum- 
bia still tends westward, about sixty miles below its junction, with the 
Spokan, to its conflux with the Okanagan, above which point, it receives 
several small tributaries. The Okanagan takes its rise in a line of lakes 
of the same name, which are situated in the mountains, about one hun- 
dred and twenty miles from its mouth. These lakes are all navigable to 
considerable extent, for canoes, barges and boats. The country through 
which this river passes, is usually extremely sterile, with the exception of 
a very few small plains which are covered with vegetation, and a few hills, 
which are thinly timbered. From the mouth of the Okanagan, to Fort 
Wallawalla, the course of the Columbia, is about south southwest. In 
this distance it receives the Y' Akama, the Piscous, and the Entyatecoom, 


from the west ; all of which take their sources in the Cascade rang-e. 
Within the above distance also, it receives the great Saptin, or Lewis' 
river from the east, which flows into Columbia at latitude 4(i^ and 8' 
north. This great tributary of the Columbia, has its source in the Rocky 
mountains, near latitude 42*^ north. Its general course is about north 
west, and its length is about five hundred miles, following its meanders. 
It lies between the Rocky and the Blue mountains, dividing the one from 
the other, by its extensive valleys. It is navigable only for canoes and 
barges, and for them only between its various rapids and falls, which arc 
very numerons. It winds its tortuous way alternately through high i-w- 
pendicular cliffs, sterile mountains, limited, yet fertile valleys, barren hiljs 
and plains. In its course it receives the Kooskooske river from the east, and 
the Salmon river from the west. The Kooskooske rises in the Rocky moun- 
tains, near latitude 46"^ north, and is navigable only for canoes and boats, for 
a very short distance. The Salmon river takes its rise in the Blue moun- 
tains ; it is not navigable even for canoes, but is a very beautiful little stream. 
At Fort Wallawalla, the Columbia is about 1280 fett above the level of the 
sea, and about 200 rods wide. Near this place, it receives the Wallawalla 
river,from the south; asmall stream, which is not navigable, nor is it of any 
particular importance for any purpose other, than to water the country 
through which it passes ; it is, however, a very beautiful stream. The 
course of the Columbia from Fort Wallawalla, is very nearly due west. 
Between Wallawalla and the dalles, it receives the Umatilla, Quisnels', 
John Day's, and de' Chutes rivers, from the south, and Cathlatates from the 
north. Neither of the last mentioned streams is navigable, yet they all 
water some very rich and productive, but small valleys. About eighty 
miles below Fort Vv^allawalla, the Columbia is much interrupted in its 
course, by rapids, falls and cascades. The first fall of importance, is that 
about ten miles above thagl^lles, where the water falls about fifty feet per- 
pendicular, over vast ledges of rocks, down which it leaps and whirls 
with thunder's roar ; then rushing, thundering and foaming through a 
deep narrow channel, formed by high ledges of massive rocks, it winds 
its noisy, tortuous way onAvard to the dalles; pouring its mighty volumes 
over cliffs, into cavern, after cavern, and trench, after trench, with such 
tremendous force, as to cause the very earth to groan and quake. 

The dalles, is a name applied to an elevated section of country, of about 
ten miles in extent, of solid dark rock, rising in irregular, high cliffs, 
hills and mountains, which have braved tl^ fury of this great river for 
ages past ; but have finally giten way to ks repeated assaults. Stratum, 
after stratum, has given way, until it has worn a deep, frightful, cavern- 
ous channel, the walls of which are solid rock, from fifty to four hundred 
feet in height. Into this deep, narrow channel, are all the waters of the 
great Columbia compressed ; but averse to confinement, they force their 
way through these narrow defiles, with the velocity of lightning, and the 
roar of thunder. The course of the river is not materially varied by 
these repeated interruptions, nor is its navigation entirely destroyed. Pro- 
visions and merchandise are annually transported, in great quantities, by 
the Hudson's BayCompany, from Fort Vancouver to all the interior forts, 
which is effected by repeated portages. The last and most formidable 
obstruction to its navigation, are the cascades, at the base of the Cascade 
mountains, about one hundred and twenty miles from the ocean. From 
the dalles to the cascades, the Columbia pursues its onward, noisy course, 


and forcing its way through the vast, massive, solid rocks of the elevated 
cascade range, it pours its immense volumes down the rocky declivity, 
four hundred feet perpendicular. The roar of this unparalleled cataract, 
is heard at a great distance, and to those who are near it is almost deafen- 
ing. The volume of water and its fall are so great, that its whole bed, 
dashes and thunders down, with such fury, as to make the very earth 
quake and tremble, with such violence, as to cause you very much to 
doubt the permanency of that upon which you stand. From the cascades 
to Fort Vancouver, a distance of about thirty miles, the river assumes a 
much milder character, and spreads, and extends its water, to a much 
greater extent. At Fort Vancouver, which is ninety miles from the 
coast, it is three hundred and sixty rods wide, and of great depth. Be- 
tween the fort and its mouth it receives the Wallammette from the south, 
and the Cawlity from the north, both of which, aid much in increasing 
the volume of its waters. From its mouth to the cascades, it is a beauti- 
ful, and grand stream, and is navigable to that extent, at the lowest stage 
of water, for ships drawing two fathoms. It enters the ocean between 
mount Adams and cape Disappointment, where several sand bars are 
formed, which are a great and dangerous obstruction to its navigation, 
and which render it extremely difficult and hazardous of entrance. 

The Wallarnmette rises in the Cascade mountains, near latitude 41*^ 
north ; its course is generally noith, northwest, to its mouth, where it enters 
the Columbia river at two distinct points, and thus forms a large triangu- 
lar islandj called the Wappato island. The upper mouth of the Wallam- 
mette, is about five miles below Fort Vancouver, and the lower month is 
about tv/enty miles below that place ; which shows the extent of the Wappato 
island, to be fifteen miles on the Columbia. The Wallammette receives 
the Klackamus and the Putin rivers from the east, and the Fualitine 
and the Yam-hill rivers from the west. Bea^jjis these rivers, it also re- 
ceives numerous less important tributaries, both from the east and the west. 
The Wallammette is navigable for vessels of a light draught, to the 
mouth of the Klackamus, which is about twenty miles from its conflux 
with the Columbia. Here, its navigation is seriously obstructed by rapids 
and sand bars, the latter of which, are formed by the waters of the 
Klackamus, which annually wash down immense quantities of sand, 
and which are deposited at the junction of the two rivers. The falls, 
which are a few miles above the mouth of the Klackamus, are a fur- 
ther, and more serious obstruc^on to its navigation. Here, its vast volume 
of water, is poured precipitat"y down a ledge of rocks, of about thirty 
feet perpendicular; and although this fearful cataract, forms a great ob- 
struction to its safe navigation, yet it is highly important, as it affords an 
almost inexhaustible water power. Above the falls, the Wallammette is 
again navigable, for vessels and steam-boats oC :'ght draught, for one 
hundred miles, or perhaps more, wkh little or ao obstruction. This 
river and its tributaries, water one of the most fertile and delightful re- 
gions in all Oregon. From its source to its mouth, a distance of about 
three hundred miles, it passes alternately through high mountains and 
hills, undulating, rich plains, and fertile and beautiful valleys. The 
Klackamus takes its rise in the Cascade mountains, near latitude 43 de- 
grees north. It is a very rapid stream, and is navigable only for boats 
and barges of light draught, and for those only during high water. The 
Fualitine river enters the Wallammette about a mile above the falls ; it 


takes its rise,in the elevated and mountainous regions near the coast, and 
is about one hundred miles in length, a greater part of which distance, it 
is navigable for boats, barges, and steam-boats of light draught, a greater 
part of the year. The Yam-hill empties into the Wallammette about 
twenty miles above the falls ; it also has its source in the mountainous re- 
gion near the ocean, and is about one hundred and twenty miles long. 
About one half of its length, is navigable, perhaps, two thirds of the 
year, for boats, pirogues and the like crafts. The Putin 'river empties 
into the Wallammette, about twelve miles above the falls, after having 
wound its tortuous course, about one hundred miles from its source, 
which is in the Cascade range, near latitude 44 degrees north. Thi? 
stream is navigable only a small portion of the year, and then only for 
small crafts of very light draught. The Cawlitz is a beautiful little 
stream, which enters the Columbia below the Wappato island ; it can 
not be said to be navigable, for any kind of crafts, only during high wa- 
ter, and even then, only for those of the lightest draught; though it is 
highly important, as it waters a large extent of country, which is well 
adapted to grazing purposes. I will give no further description of the 
tributaries of the Columbia,, as most of them have already been partially 
described, in the description of that river; but I shall proceed to give 
a brief description, of those which lie north, and soiath, of that great 

The largest and most important river north of the Columbia, is Fra- 
sier's river, which rises in the Rocky mountains, near latitude 55 degrees 
north. Its general course is about north by west, a distance of seventy 
or eighty miles, when it changes to south southwest, which course it con- 
tinues, to the parallel of 49 degrees of north latitude, at the Cascade 
mountains. In its course to this place, it receives Stevrart's river, which 
takes its rise in a chain^s©^ lakes, near latitude 55 degrees north, then pass- 
ing through a sterile mountainous region, it receives the Chilcotin and 
Pinksliisa from the west, and the Thompson's and Quesnells' rivers from 
[he east. The last mentioned rivers water an extremely broken and 
mountainous country, yet they are said to be navigable to some extent, 
though with repeated interruptions, which arise from their numerous falls, 
rapids and cascades. Frasier's river cuts its way through the Cascade 
range, and thundering down cataracts, and over falls 'and rapids, it pur- 
sues a westerly course, to the gulf of Georgia, near latitude 49 degrees 
and 7 min. north, where it finally empties, its vast floods of water into 
that great gulf. The whole length of tms river is about three hundred 
and sixty miles, but a small portion of which i^ navigable. That portion 
of it, above the Cascade range, is navigable only for canoes, boats and 
the like, and for those only during high water, and even then, with nu- 
merous obstructions; but that portion below the Cascade range, a distance 
of about eighty miles, is navigable without interruption, for vessels of two 
fathoms draught. No obstruction whatever, is found any where in this 
portion, except a bar which is found at its mouth, and which, is a serious 
obstruction to those unacquainted with its entrance. The country through 
which this stream lies, is. with some exceptions, rough, mountainous and 
sterile ; studded occasionally with those lofty pines of ages, and towering, 
icy monuments of time ! I shall notice but one other river lying, north of 
the Columbia, which is the Chilkeelis, and which heads in the mountain- 
ous region north of the Columbia, by three distinct heads. Receiving 


several other streams, which have their sources in the mountainous re- 
gion, near the head of Pugets' sound, it runs westward, pursuing a wind- 
ing and circuitous course, through elevated plains and high mountains, 
forming numerous fails, and rapids, and finally, empties into Gray's har- 
bor. This river waters one of the most barren and broken regions in all 
Oregon ; it is navigable only for boats of light draught, between its nu- 
merous cataracts and rapids. 

There are several other rivers on the north side of the Columbia, 
which however, are unimportant. I shall, therefore, proceed to the 
description of those on the south side of that river. Besides the tributa- 
ries of the Columbia, there are but three rivers on the south side of that 
river, which deserve particular attention. The first which i shall notice, 
is the Umpqua, which rises in the Cascade mountains, near latitude 43 deg. 
north, pursuing a w^esterly course, it enters the ocean at latitude 43 deg. 
30 min. north. It is generally about a half of a mile wide, and is con- 
fined, in many places, within high banks of basaltic rock. Having a 
very large bar at its mouth, the entrance is very difficult, and the harbor 
very unsafe. The water upon this bar is about two fathoms deep, yet 
the channel is subject to such sudden changes, that at times, it is with the 
greatest difficulty it can be found. The tide flows up this stream, about 
forty miles from its mouth, which would aid in its navigation, very much 
to that extent, were it not for the vast bar at its entrance. The country 
through which this stream passes, is, generally, broken and hilly, but in 
many places, there are valleys and undulating plains, which are very 
rich, and of very considerable extent. With the exception of the valleys 
and plains, it is usually covered with thick forests of lofty pines, firs and 
oaks. This stream is perhaps, navigable for steam -boats, about forty 
miles from its mouth, beyond which, its navigation is repeatedly inter- 
rupted, by falls and rapids, j^et it is navigable still above, for boats and 
barges to considerable extent. The river lying next south of the Ump- 
qua, is the Rogue's river, which has its source in the Klamet and Cascade 
ranges, near latitude 42 deg. north. It pursues a course about west by 
north, winding its way through alternate sterile mountains, high hills, 
rich, fertile valleys, and beautiful plains, and finally, empties into the 
ocean, at the parallel of 43 deg. north latitude. The entrance of this 
river, is also much obstructed by a vast sand bar, at its mouth, which is 
entirely impassable, the greater part of the year. This river is about the 
same width of the Umpqua ; its current is very rapid, and it has numer- 
ous falls and rapids, which muJch obstruct its navigation, even for boats 
and canoes. Its bed is generally about fifteen or twenty feet below the 
surface of the earth, hence its waters are very difficult of access. It is 
navigable, perhaps, about eighty miles, for boats and canoes. The coun- 
try through which it passes, is usually, very well timbered,well watered, 
and much of it is very rich and productive. 

The only river which remains to be noticed, is the Klamet, which rises 
in the Klamet range, near latitude 41 deg. north, whence it runs a north- 
west course, about ninety miles, where it changes its course to west, and 
pursues a very serpentine course for many miles, when, finally, it runs 
about west by north, to the ocean, where it empties, near latitude 41 deg. 
40 min. north, in California. This river waters the most barren and 
mountainous portion of country, in the southern part of Oregon. With 
the exception of a few small valleys and plains, it is everywhere walled 


in, with high mountains and clifls of solid roclc, most of which, are en- 
tirely dcstitnto of limber. But a very small portion of this stream, is 
navigable for any crafts larger than canoes and bonis ; but that portion of it 
near its mouth, is,per]iaps, navigable for steam-boats, a distance of thirty 
or forty miles, without serious obstruction. As is the caso, with all those 
streams emptying into the Pacific, it has an extensive bar at its mouth, 
which entirely prevents the safe entry of vessels, although there is a suf- 
ficient depth of water. All those rivers putting into the Pacific, south of 
the Columbia, have from two to eight fathoms of water upon their bars; 
but it is hazardous in the extreme, for a vessel to attempt an entrance, at 
many seasons of the year, becaust^ of th(^ tremendous surf, that sets in 
from the ocean ; and the (Wtremc; narrowness, and variableness of their 

Ail the variotis rivers of (Oregon, are subj(>ct to extraordinary rises 
and overflows, which take place, in those heading in the diflerent ranges 
of mountains, at difll'rcnt S(\asons of the year. In those which rise in the 
Cascade range, the rise takes place in November and February, annually. 
These ris(S are produced by the great (juaniities of rain, which fall in 
those regions, of which, more will be said, upon a subse(|uent page, 'i'he 
rise of those rivers having their sources in the jjlue and Rocky moun- 
tains, is, generally, in the months of May and June, of each year; it is 
0(T;;isioned by the melting of the snows of those mountains. The rise in 
all these streanis is very ixreat, especially in tliose. having their sources 
in the Cascade range. The Culumbia tisually rises from ten to fifteen 
feet, and of course, inundates much of the surroundinu'. low councry. The 
Wallamette frequentlj- rises from tW(Mity to twenly-fiv(> feet perpendicu- 
lar, and thus, submergi^s large sections of the adjacent country, and occa- 
sions very great damage. Such is also the case witii tlie Cawlit/, Umpqua 
and Rogue's rivers; and in fact, all those rivers which are in the vicinity 
ol the low lands. There is also a rise in the Wallammctte and the Cavv- 
litz, which is occasioned by the bacK'ina' of th(Mr waters, during the rise 
in thi^, Columbia. The rise in the rivers heading in the Cascade range, 
is, generally, very sudden, but that in the Columbia, and other rivers 
\x-hich have their sources in the l^ocky mountains, is usually, gradual, 
unless tiiere happ(>ns to be very h(>;!vy rain? in the interior, about the 
time of their annual rise, which is not i;-enerally the case, though it some- 
times happ(>ns, and when it does occur, the country is submerged to a 
great extent; both man and beast are dri vein to the hills and mountains 
for their safety, and irrpparable losses are frequently sustained. 




DescTiptmn of the idamls; Vancmcvier's island; Quern Charlotte's island^ 
Archipelago of islands; Prince Royars island. The harbors; general 

y..,sairilyof. Barg at the mouths of the ricers; changing of Gray's 
harbor. The harbor of Juan dc Facas; those of the various islands. 

Harbors s<nith of the Columbia. No good harbors south of the straits 
Juan d^ Fui-as, and gulf (f Georgia. The surface of theEastern section ; 
southern part of J 'alley of Bear ricer. Destined "routes of Ores-on and 
tahforma eninjrau's. Soda spring; description of Conical elevations; 
description of '■Steam-boat spri/ig;^^ description of. Volcanic apppar- 
ances. Hot springs, Ultin7a!r importance oj Bear river valley. Valleys 
near Port Hall; near Fort Boisia. The ''Lone tree?^ The " Grand 
ToundP Surface of the Middle section. Valleys of the Wallau-alla, 
John Days and Umalit<i ri<-rrs Snrfaceof the Western section; northern 
pari of; southern part nf \ \ '(dlamm.etta caUcy. Fuatitine plains. Valleijs 
upon the Iwpqua; ujxm. Rogue's river; 7tpon the Kkimet. Soil of the 
emtern section; its prt-vaiUng rock; its agricultural and grazing propcr- 
iLon.s\ Soil of the Middle section; its principal rock; its agricultural and 
grazwg adaptation. S<nt of thn Western section; variety of its rock; its 
grazing and agricnltund capabilities. Ackersc opinion. 

There are several islands adjacent to the main land, which now de- 
serve our attention. Tiie most important of these, is Vancouver's island, 
which )3 two hundred and sixty miles in lengthy and fifty in width, and 
like the mam land in its vicinity, its surface is broken and mountainous. 
yet It has some plains and valleys, of considerable extent and fertility. 
An abundance of good fresh water is produced by its numerous springs 
and streams, which rise in ita interior ; and it is g-enerally well timbered, 
and in all respects well adapted to grazing and agricukural purposes. 
»V ash mgton, or aueen Charlotte's island is about one hundred and fifty 
miles m length, andthirty in width. It is quite similar to Yancover's 
island, in its adaptation to grazing and agricidtural purposes, and it has 
also an abundance of good fresh Avater, M'hich is produced from its 
numerous springs and rivulets rising in its interior. Its surface is also 
broiien and hilly, having however, many ^mall valleys and plains, which 
are very rich, and which tibound with good timberfit, like Vancover's 
island, IS well adapted to the support of a small community. Besides 
these, there is also an archipelago of islands, near the southern extremity 
ot Vancouver's island. The surface of these, generally, much 
broken, and they are much less fertile, than those just described. They 
generally, have a suffjciency of timber, but an insufficiency of fresh wa- 
ter, which IS, no doubt, the cause of their being uninhabited. There are 
a few other islands also, near the main land, which are called the Prince 
Royal islands, and which are uninhabited, and in all other respects, Guite 
similar to l hose last described, 'j^he first two above described, are as 
thickly inhabited as the main land, by various tribes of Indians, who re- 
soit to them, m large numbers, for the purpose of hunting and fishing. 

Very (cw safe harbors are found in all Oregon. As has been else- 
where remarked, all the various rivers, wliich empty into the ocean, have 
extensive sand bars at their mouths, which reader them extremel/ diffi- 


cult, and dang-erous of entrance. These bars arc formed by the im- 
mense quantities of sand, which are brought down by the water, during 
the annual overflows, and which, are thrown back into the mouths by the 
lashing surf. Thus, the waters of the rivers,pressing upon the one side, and 
the surf upon the other, the sands are formed into bars, which so much 
interrupt the navigation of all those otherwise navigable, and important 
streams. Permanent bars, are not however, thus formed ; the constant 
action of the water, having a tendency to confine the sand within indefi- 
nite limits, but not to render it permanent. Hence it is, that the bars are 
constantly changing their positions, from side to side, which renders the 
entrance into all those rivers, the more difficult and dangerous. The pi- 
lot who well understands the cliannel this year, knows nothing of it the 
next. Entrance or departure, through many of these channels, is entirely 
impracticable, the greater part of the year. These bars are not only 
changing their positions, but tliey are constantly increasing ; yet the fact 
that the depth of the water upon them, has never been known to diminish, 
induces the belief, that notwithstanding the changes, and increase of 
the sands, they will never afford any greater obstruction to the naviga- 
tion, than they do at present. Gray's harbour is considered very safe, 
when entered, but vessels only of a small class can enter it, there being 
but about ten feet of water at the entrance , and the anchorage whicli it 
affords although safe, is very limited. The northern part of Oregon af- 
fords many extensive and safe harbours, the principal of which, are 
those of the straits Juan de Fucas. Many of these harbour are very ex- 
tensive, and entirely secure, and are capable of receiving any class of 
vessels. They are, no doubt, ample for all the commercial purposes of 
northern Oregon, but that portion is the least fertile, and the least valuable 
part of all that country, consequently, commercial advantages, in that sec- 
tion of the country, are of much less importance. Much of that part of 
the coast north of latitude 49° north, is cut and intersected, in almost 
every direction, by innumerable deep inlets, which have high perpendic- 
ular walls, of solid rock, but whicli, afford no anchorage or harbors. But 
the sterility and roughness of that portion of the country are such, that 
harbors there, would be of little or no importance. Some of the islands 
of which I have spoken, have a few very good harbors, but they are very 
limited in extent of anchorage. Vancover's island affords the best, but 
Queen Charlotte's island affords some very good ones, so also do several 
others of the larger islands. South of the Columbia, there are but two 
harbors, of any importance which are found at the mouth of the Ump- 
qua and Rogues rivers, and which have vast sand bars at their entrances, 
that render ingress and egress, not only very difficult, but extremely haz- 
ardous. A further and more serious objection, to all those harbors formed 
by the rivers, is, that after an entrance is effected, the anchorage is en- 
tirely insecure, owing to the exposure of vessels, to the winds, and surf 
of the ocean, to which they are dangerously exposed, everywhere in the 
vicinity of the mouths of alt these rivers. There is not, in fact, a good, 
convenient, or safe harbor, on all the coast of Oregon, south of the straits 
of Juan de Fucas, and the gulf of Georgia. 

A more particular description of the face of the country will now, be 
given. In giving this description, I commence with the Eastern section, 
or that section which lies between the Rocky, and Blue mountains. It is 
miich diversified in surface, as it is intersected in almost every direction. 


by innumerable spurs of the Rocky and Blue mountains. Very little 
level land is to be found, in any portion of this section, but many exten- 
sive, broken and hilly prairies, are found, which are entirely sterile, 
producing neither grass nor timber ; the only vegetation seen being the 
prickly-pear and the wild wormwood, or artemisia. The only vegetation 
which is found in any part of this section, is in the vicinity of the streams, 
with occasional patches of " bunch grass " off the streams. Persons in 
traveling through this section, are under the necessity of traveling a cer- 
tain number of hours each day, and at a certain rate of speed, in order to 
reach tliose places, where water and grass may be found, for the suste- 
nance of themselves and their horses. Notwithstanding the general sterility, 
of this section, it has some tolerably, and some very rich valleys and 
plains, all of which, however, are extremely limited in their extent. The 
first of tliem, which I shall notice, is the valley of the great Bear river. 
Tiie river upon which this valley lies, is of considerable importance ; ri- 
sing east of the Rocky mountains, it runs through the great southern 
pass, at latitude 42° north, and empties into the great Salt lake, 
or lake Timpanagos, in Upper California. The valley of this river, lies 
principally in California also, but my present purpose is to describe that 
portion only of it, which lies in Oregon. Much of this valley is very 
rich, producing vegetation in great abundance, but its principal importance, 
consists in its peculiar local situation. It is through this valley, that the 
route from the United States to Oregon and California, is destined forever 
to pass. Being the most eligible, and in fact, the only practical wagon 
route, that has, as yet, been discovered by which, the emigrant may travel 
with ease and comfort; it is destined, beyond any doubt, to become the 
great thoroughfare to all the western country. When we reflect that 
even now, hundreds and thousands of our citizens are annually passing 
by that route down this valley, we can not fail to arrive at the conclusion, 
that this must soon become a vastly, important region. At some point in 
this valley, will be found the most favorable point, on the whole route 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, for the emigrant to encamp for a few 
days, in order to acquire that relaxation and repose, which he so much 
needs, after his long and fatiguing journey, as well as to obtain supplies, 
and to refit, for the residue of his toilsome expedition. But this is not the 
only importance, attached to this peculiar section of country. In 
this valley, are found the soda springs, the " steam -boat springs," and nu- 
merous other wonderous objects, which are well calculated to attract the 
attention of the curious, and the admirer of nature. 

The soda springs are situated about one hundred miles west of the di- 
viding ridge, of the Rocky mountains, and about fifty miles east of Fort 
Hall, within twenty rods of Bear river, on its north side, and near lati- 
tude 42° north. They are in the midst of a beautiful grove of small ce- 
dars, and surrounded by rich valleys and plains, high, rolling hills, and 
volcanic vales and mountains. Upon approaching within their vicinity, 
you are struck at once, with the extraordinary appearance which they 
present, as well as the hissing noises which they produce, occasioned by 
the perpetual effervescence of their bubbling, noisy waters. There are 
six of these, which are from five to ten feet in diameter ; the waters of 
which, are from two to three feet, below the surface of the earth. Their 
waters are perfectly clear, and very delicious to the taste, and in all re- 
spects, like the water obtained at our common soda fountains in civilised 


life. When dipping the water from the springs, the effervescence is still 
going on in your cup, until you place it to your lips, when, if you can 
withstand its suffocating fumes, you have a most delicious draught. In 
the vicinity of these springs, there are also, several other soda springs, 
which, however, are much less important, than those just described. 
Near them also, are several very singular conical elevations, ahoui five or 
six feet in height, in the apex of each of which, is an aperture, of about 
six inches in diameter, from which the water gushes out, and running 
down the sides of these cones, it leaves upon them a sediment, which is 
thrown up by the water, and which has, no doubt, in the process of time, 
produced these extraordinary conical formations, which now much more 
resemble the work of art, than that ol nature. These singular evomitions 
of water and sediment, are produced by the escape of great quantities 
of gas, generated by the evolving waters in the^ subterraneous caverns be- 
low. The ceaseless commotion of the waters, in those vast reservoirs, 
produce a constant rumbling and gurgling sound, which is distinctly 
heard a distance of several rods from the springs, and the emition of gas, 
produces a kind of puffing, and blowing sound, which is also heard sev- 
eral rods. About one hundred rods below these springs, is the "steam 
boat spring," as it is called, which discharges v,'ater and gas in the same 
manner, as those just described, but in much greater quantities, and with 
a report quite similar to that produced by the emition of steam from tlie 
escape pipe of a steam-boat, hence the name '-steam-boat spring." These 
evomitions of water and gas, are from the face of a vast rock, and are 
frequently heard a hundred rods. In the immediate vicinity of the soda 
springs are innumerable other springs, the waters of which, are highly 
impregnated with soda and sulphur ; and north, and in fact, in every di- 
rection from them, the whole country wears a striking and volcanic ap- 
pearance, especially, at the north, where the entire earth, seems to have 
been burnt out, leaving scarcely any thing, but masses of burnt rock and 
lava. Numerous hot springs are also found, in the immediate vicinity of 
these springs, which produce water from blood heat, to the boiling point, 
in many of which, meat is cooked perfectly done, in less than four min- 
utes. The whole surrounding country here, affords ample evidences of 
former, vast, and numerous volcanic eruptions. This valley, and especi- 
ally that portion of it, in the immediate vicinity of these springs, is really 
a very extraordinar}- section of country, and is destined, beyond any 
kind of doubt, to become immensely important and valuable ; because of 
its peculiarly favorable locality ; its extraordinary, wonderful, and de- 
lightful scenery ; and perhaps, the medicinal properties of its inexhausti- 
ble mineral waters. 

There are several very extensive valleys in the vicinity of Fort Hall, 
upon the river, as well as extensive plains, which produce a great suffi- 
ciency of vegetation and timber, but the surrounding country, more remote 
from the fort, is extremely hilly, mountainous, and sterile, generally pro- 
ducing neither timber, nor vegetation. There are also several very ex- 
tensive plains and valleys, in the immediate vicinity of Fort Boisia, 
which are quite fertile, and capable of producing grain and vegetables, 
in great abundance; yet, the surrounding country, is generally, barren 
and mountainous. About seventy miles below Fort Boisia, in a direction 
northwest by north, is a valley of very considerable extent, which abounds 
with various kinds of vegetation, of most luxurious growth. This 


valley is situated upon a tributary of Lewis' river, which appears to 
afford a great sufficiency of durable water. In the midst of this valley, 
is a single pine tree, which is called 1' arbour seuel, the lone tree, from 
which circumstance, the valley is called the " Lone Tree valley." There 
is not a sufficiency of timber in the immediate vicinity of this valley, but 
in the surrounding mountainous region, there is perhaps, ample timber, 
and that of a very good quality. Forty or fifty miles south southeast 
from this valley, the country has a very romantic, and volcanic appear- 
ance. Large extents of country appear to have been visited by earth- 
quakes, which have torn the stupendous mountains of rock asunder, and 
strewed the plains below, with their confused fragments; while other sec- 
tions, having been the seat of desolating volcanoes, are thickly covered 
with vast, massive heaps of burned rock and lava. Here innumerable 
hot and boiling springs a|e also found, the waters of which, are so hot, 
as to cook any kind of flesh, sufficiently for the table, in a very few min- 
utes. These springs are not unfrcquently, found within a few feet of run- 
ning streams of pure cold v/ater, into v/hich, they pour their boiling wa- 
ters, which are so hot, even when commingled with this cold water, as to 
kill the fish in an instant, which happens to be swimming within its ca- 
loric influence. About forty miles northwest, from the "lone tree," in 
the midst of the Blue mountains, is a very extensive valley, which is 
rich and productive, and which is well timbered, and well' watered. It 
is about fifty miles in extent, in either direction, and is surrounded in 
every direction, by hills and mountains, which, in many places, are cov- 
ered with luxuriant growths of pine and cedar. The form of this valley 
i^ nearly circular, hence its name, '• la Grande rounde," the Grand 
round. This is one of the most fertile valleys, found any where in this 
section, and is perhaps, as well adapted to agricultural and grazing pur- 
poses, as any portion of Oregon. It has some timber upon its streams, 
but not sufficient for all purposes, yet the surrounding hills and mountains 
abound wiih the best of timber. This valley is destined soon, to be oc- 
cupied, and to become a very valuable, and important section of country. 
Ail the northern part of this section, is one vast concatenation of hills 
and mountains, which are generally, spurs of the Rocky and Blue 
mountains, and which, in many places, are thickly clad Vv-ith timber 
and vegf tation, but they are generally, entirely destitute of either. Many 
of these hills and mountains are dcnst ly covered with forests of huge 
firs, pines and cedars ; so also are many of the valleys which afre founji 
upon the rivers and smaller streams. Besides the few limited valleys, 
which are found in this part of the Eastern section, there are also, many 
undulating prairies, elevated plains, and depressions of some extent, which 
are tolerably rich, and which have a most beautiful and picturesque ap- 

The flice of the country, in the Middle sections, presents a continued 
series of rolling hiiis, high cliffs, and undulating plains, which are almost 
everywhere, intersected by innumerable, stupendous mountain spurs, 
wdiich are offsets of the Blue, and Cascade mountains, and which are 
generally, covered with a kind of short fine grass, called " bunch grass," 
wormv/ood, and prickly-pear. Some of these, in the northern part, are 
also thickly covered with forests of lofty firs, pines and cedars. In this 
section too, there are numerous small valleys, worthy of notice, several 
of which, however, have received partial notice, upon another page. 


There is a very beautiful vallfy on the Wallawalla river, in tiie vicinity 
of Di. Whitman's mission. This valley is sufficiently large for forty or 
fifty farms, and is very well adapted to farming purposes. There are also 
other valleys in this vicinity, of considerable extent, and of more than or- 
dinary fertility, which are situated upon John Day's, Umatilla, Q,ms- 
nell's and de Chute rivers, and which, together, afford a large extent of 
very excellent country. These valleys are well watered, not only by the 
rivers just referred to, but also, by numerous other smaller streams and 
rivulets, running through them, in every direction. There are also sev- 
eral small valleys in this vicinity, on the Columbia, which are very rich 
and productive, 'though of much less importance, because of their very 
limited extent. The principal valleys of this section, south of the Co- 
lumbia river, are those in the extreme southern portion, between latitude 
43 deg. north, and the southern boundary, where several very productive 
and extensive vallevs are found, which are admirably adapted to farming 
purposes, much the greater portions of which, are better adapted to the pur- 
poses of pasturage. The scarcity of timber, in all this portion of the 
section, will however, in all probability, forever remain, an insuperable 
barrier, to its extensive and successful cultivation or occupation; though 
some of these valleys may, perhaps, be supplied with timber, from the 
surrounding (nountains, many of which, afford timber in considerable 
abundance, especially, the spurs of the Cascade mountains. Timber is 
also occasionallv found, on some of the streams, which water these val- 
leys, thqugh generally, in very small quantities, and of inferior quality. 
That part of this section, which lies north of the Columbia river, is 
much more broken and mountainous than the southern part, but unlike 
that portion, it is, in many places, thickly covered with compact forests of 
lofty firs and pines. In this portion also, are many small, though produc- 
tive valleys, of several of which, I have spoken in the description of the 
rivers. Besides these, there are several others, of much greater extent, 
but of less fertility, as well as several high, rolling prairies, many of 
which, are tolerably well adapted to the purposes of pasturage, though 
but illy adapted to farming purposes, because of the extreme variableness 
of the climate. 

The surface of the Western section only, now remains to be described. 
That portion of this section, which lies north of the Columbia river, has 
innumerable mountain spurs, high cliffs, and rolling hills, interspersed 
throughStit almost every portion. These are generally, thickly clad 
with compact forests, of high and enormous trees, of centuries growth, 
the like of which, is seldom, if ever seen. In many places also, the un- 
dergrowth of shrubs, bushes, vines and briers, is so dense, that it is actu- 
ally impenetrable; in such places, however, the soil is extremely pro- 
ductive. Many small, 'though rich valleys, tolerably fertile plains, and 
prairies, are also found, throughout this northern portion, which are very 
well adapted both, to the purposes of pasturage and farming. Several 
prairies and plains are also found, on the Columbia and the Cawlitz, 
some of which, are quite extensive and productive. There is a very rich 
section of conntry, in the immediate vicinity of Fort Vancouver, which, 
by trial, is found to produce the various kinds of northern grains and 
fruits, with much luxuriance. Below this fort, are several valleys and 
prairies, of considerable importance, especially on the Cawlitz, where 
some rather extensive valleys and prairies are found, though they are not, 


generally, very productive. Above, and in the vicinity of this fort, a 
number of plains and valleys are also found, which are very fertile, 
though much less extensive, than that just described. In the various 
portions of the timbered country, many plains are found, which are sur- 
rounded with almost impenetrable forests, of majestic firs and pines, of 
unequalled growth. Adjacent to Pugets' sound, large tracts of Prairie 
country are also found, which are sufficiently rich, for all agricultural 
purposes, and which yield a great abundance of vegetation. At and in 
the vicinity of the straits de Fucas, are some extensive plains and prairies, 
which, although not sufficiently rich, for farming purposes, afford every 
advantage for grazing. All the plains and valleys of the northern por- 
tion of this section, are much better suited to the rearing of herds, than the 
growing of grain, though there are several of them which are adaptable 
to the latter purpose, as well as the former, yet not with the same prospects 
of success. 

The portion of this section, which is found south of the Columbia 
river, contains much the most extensive and productive plains and valleys 
of all Oregon, which are in all respects, by far, the most valuable portions 
of that country. The most extensive valley here found, is the Wallammette 
valley, which lies upon the Wallammette river, and is about one hundred 
and fifty miles in length, and thirty or forty in width, on each side of the 
river. It is a very beautiful and productive valley, and as it is well tim- 
bered, well watered, and as it yields, a superabundance of all the grasses, 
and the various other kinds of vegetation, it is admirably suited to agricul- 
tural, and grazing purposes. In the vicinity, and northwest from this 
valley, are the Fualitine plains, which are about fifty miles in length, and 
fifteen in width. These are equal in beauty and productiveness, if not 
superior to the Wallammette valley. They produce the various kinds of 
vegetation, with much profusion, and they are very well timbered, and well 
watered; hence their adaptation to the purposes of grazing and farming, 
are readily seen. Further south, numerous other beautiful, and rich val- 
leys, are also found, the first of which, I shall notice, are those lying upon 
the Umpqua river. In the immediate vicinity of Fort Umpqua, a valley 
of about thirty miles in length, and ten in width, is found, which is every- 
where surrounded by an exteiisivT, broken and mountainous country, but 
which is a very beautiful and rich valley, abounding with all the various 
grasses, and good timber. There is also another valley upon this river, 
of much greater extent, which commences about ten miles above the east- 
ern extremity, of that just described, and extends up, and south of the 
river, about seventy miles. This is among the most beautiful, and pro- 
ductive valleys of all Oregon; abounding with the various grasses, and 
good timber of most luxuriant growth, and having an unusually deep, 
rich soil, it is peculiarly fitted both, to the purposes of grazing and farm- 
ing. South of this, upon Rogue's river, are several other very extensive 
and unusually rich valleys. The principal of them is found upon that 
river, about sixty miles from the ocean It is about eighty miles long, 
and averages from ten, to forty miles in width, on each side of the river. 
For beauty of scenery, richness of soil, abundance of timber, and vegeta- 
tion; and for its peculiar adaptation to both, grazing and agricultural pur- 
poses, this valley much surpasses all others, in any part of Oregon. Be- 
sides this, there are also, several others, which are found upon, and in 
the vicinity of this river, and which, are much less extensive, but equally 



productive of both, timber and the various grasses. All these valleys, 
however, art surrounded by stupendous mountains, high hills, and ele- 
vated plains, which are generally, entirely destitute of timber, and, in 
many places, devoid of all vegetable productions. The only valleys 
which remain to be noticed, are those found upon the Klamet river, where 
numerous valleys are to be found, which, although very limited in extent, 
possess a very rich soil, and yield a superabundance of good timber, and 
most luxuriant vegetation. Throughout all this section, besides the vari- 
ous valleys before enumerated, and more particularly described, there are 
numbers of others,which are equally productive and valuable, though of 
much less extent. Upon, and in the neighborhood of the Umpqun, 
Ro<Tue's and Klamet rivers, there are not only the valleys referred to, hut 
there are also several others, as well as numerous sections of high lands, 
undulating, elevated plains, and rolling prairies, which are also very pro- 
ductive, and which, are admirably suited to the purpose of grazing, as 
well as that of farming. This southern portion of the Western section, is 
by far, the most valuable and delightful portion of Oregon, and in point of 
richness and productions, it very much resembles the unequalled plains 
and valleys of California. 

The soil of all the Eastern section is, for the most part, extremely 
poor; that of the plains is generally, a light, sandy loam ; that of the 
valleys, especially in the immediate vicinity of the rivers, and smaller 
streams, is rich an. I ahuvial, while the hills and mountains generally pre- 
S(.'iit a most barr'^n and desolate surface, which, for many miles together, 
presents nothing but b irnmg sands, and hills and mountains of unsurpass- 
ed sterility. Here, however, every variety of soil is found, from the ex- 
treme sterility of the burning sands of the Aral)ian deserts, to the deep rich 
alluvial soil of th'=; most frih' Egyptian valleys. The prevailing rock 
of this section is generally, basalt, granite, pudding stone and talcon 
slate, which in many places, extend entirely to the surface, for several 
miles together. It may be estimated, with a close approximation to exact- 
ness, that not more than one twentieth part of all this section, is, in any 
wise, suited to agricultural purposes, while one tenth part of it, may per- 
haps, be found to be tolerably well adapted to pasturage. The soil of 
the Middle section is, as a general thiuir, a light yellow sand, e!ay or 
h)am ; that of the valleys,isusually, a black, alluvial, vegetable loam. South 
of the Columbia, the hills and mountains present a surface of extraordi- 
nary sterility ; hut those ncn-th of tliat river, have a soilof a light, brown 
loam, or a thin, brown, vegetable earlH. The rock of this secdon is, 
generally, confined to the hills and mountains, and in the northern part, it 
consists principally, of granite, pudding stone and basalt; that of the 
southern j)art, consists chielly, of granite, basalt, talcon slate and horn- 
blend. Although this variety of rock will he found highly serviceable, 
in the ultimate improvement of the country, yet as it rises entirely to the 
surface, for miles together, it adds very much to the sterility, and impen- 
etrability, of many portions of this, otherwise, sufficiently sterile, and 
forbidding region. Of all this section not more, perhaps, t^an one tenth 
part, is at all, susceptible of successful cultivation, nor is more than 
one fifth part of it, well suited to grazing purposes. The soil of the 
Western section, varies very much, in the different portions. North of 
the Columbia river, that of the hills and mountains, is generally, a light, 


brown, loam or vegetable earth, upon a stratum of gravel or sand ; that 
of the plains and prairies, is usually, a deep, brotvn, vegetable mould, hav- 
ing a subsoil of sand and clay ; and that of the valleys and lower sections, 
is a deep black loam, upon a substratum of clay or trap rock. The 
principal rock of this part of the section, appears to be granite and pud- 
ding stone, especially in the extreme north, but in many parts of tlie 
more southern portion, are found basalt and liornblend. South of the Co- 
lumbia river, the soil of the valleys is very fertile, being generally, decom- 
posed basalt or a deep, black, vegetable loam, upon a stratum of gravel, 
sand or unctuous clay ; that of the plains, is usually, a deep, brown, veg- 
etable loam, the substrata being stiff clay, gravel and sand : and that of 
tlie hills and mountains, is a light, brown, and thin vegetable earth, upon 
a stratum of gravel or sand. Many of die hills and mountains, however, 
are entirely sterile, and are principally composed of basalt, stone and 
slate, yet in the extreme southern part, the rocks are usually primitive, and 
consist principally of talcon slate, hornblend and granite. Of lliis sec- 
tion, about one fifth part, is arable land, and one third is, perhaps, sel- 
dom surpassed in its adaptation to grazing purposes. I am well aware 
that the fertility and productiveness of Oregon, are viewed, by many who 
have visited that region, in a much more favorable light, than the above and 
foregoing, would seem to indicate ; but however that may be, I design 
merely to give facts, as they occur to me, leaving their corroboration to the 
concurring testimony of others, and the developments of time. 


The climate ; of Eastern section ; of Middle section ; of Western section. 
Difference of temperature on the Atlantic and Pacific; caiise of Great va- 
riety of climate. Health. Absence of febrific causes. Productions ; of 
Eastern section; of JMiddle section; of Western section. Grazing capa- 
biUlies. Stock driven from. California. Value of cattle; of horses ; of 
sheep. Fish ; abundance of ; uhen taken; how taken; method of curing. 
Shell fish ; oysters ; almndance of Whales captured by Indians. Game 
of Eastern section; of Middle section ; of Western section. Fur-bearing 
animals; diminution of Wolves. Water- fowls ; abundance of ; other 
feathered animals : variety of. Forts; number of; <f Eastern section ; 
of Middle section ; of Western section. Fort V<i,ncouver ; hospitalities of 
Coiirtesy and kindness of Dr. McLoughlin*; of Mr. Douglass. Farms 
of the company ; at Cawlitz ; at Nlsqually ; at Langly ; ai the Fualitine 
plains. Hudsons'' Bay company ; origin of; organization of ; its contin- 

The climate of .Oregon is, perhaps, as varied and variable, as that of 
any part of the known world, which fact is attributable to the great diver- 
sity of local positions, which the various portions of the country occupy, 
in reference to those regions of perpetual snow, and the Pacific ocean, as 
well as the altitude of each portion, in reference to the other. The same 


diversity of climate, as of soil, prevails in the diflerent sections, and the 
climate, like the soil, is much more diversified in the Eastern section, than 
ill either of the others. In many portions of this section you experi- 
ence perpetual winter, while in others you have continued spring, depend- 
ing upon the position which you occupy ; and even in the same portion 
of the country, one day, you have the extreme heat of a southern sum- 
mer, and the next, the excessive cold of a northern winter. There are 
other portions of this section where, in the short space of 24 hours, 
you experience four distinct changes, corresponding in temperature, with 
a northern spring, summer, autumn and winter. The mercury in Fah- 
renheit's scale, rising to 50° in the morning, to 120° at noon, and falling 
again to 50° in the evening, and to 12° below zero at night. These re- 
marks, however, are designed to apply only to a portion of this section. 
In many other portions, it is both much warmer, and much colder, the 
mercury frequently rising to 160° and falling^^to 18° belovv^ zero. The 
mean temperature, of course, differs very much in the various sections, 
but it is said to be about 50° of Fahrenheit, in the vicinity of Fort Hall. 
Those portions which have a. climate of this variable character, are gen- 
erally in the immediate vicinity of the regions of perpetual snow. Rain 
very seldom falls in any part of this section, during the spring or sum- 
mer, nor do great quantities fall during "the autumn or winter. In the 
winter, snow falls very frequently, though not to a great depth ; it lies but 
a short time in the valleys, but eternally on the mountains. Hence then 
it appears, that you may enjoy every possible variety of climate, from 
perpetual winter, to perennial spring. The climate of the Middle section, 
is not as variable as that of the Eastern section, but much more so than 
that of the Western section; it is subject however, to very great extremes 
of heat and cold. In the summer, the mercury in Fahrenheit's scale, fre- 
quently rises to 180°, in the shade, and as frequently, falls as low as mi- 
nus 28° of Fahrenheit. As in the Eastern section, the temperature of the 
various portions, differs very much, depending upon the altitude of each 
portion, and its proximity to the snowy mountains, yet the mean temper- 
ature is said to be about 52° of Fahrenheit at Fort Wallawalla, and the 
daily difference of temperature, is said to be, about 40° of Fahrenheit, at 
and in the vicinity of that place. It very seldom rains in this section, 
during the spring, summer or autumn, consequently, there are about nine 
months of continued drought, during which time, here, as in the Eastern 
sections, dews seldom fall, hence a dryness and aridity of atmosphere pre- 
vails throughout both these sections, which are seldom elsewhere known. 
The climate of all the Western section is very mild, and notwith- 
standing its northern latitude, it has no excess of cold, nor has it any ex- 
cess of heat. The mean temperature of this section, at Fort Vancouver, 
is 57 deg. of Fahrenheit. Snow very seldem falls more than four or five 
inches in depth, and generally disappears in three or four days. Run- 
ning water never freezes south of the Columbia river, and that river has 
been closed, opposite Vancouver, but three times within the last forty 
years, and even then, it remained closed but a very few days. It is so 
mild in latitude 45 deg. north, and even in 50 deg. north, that it does not 
become necessary either to house, or feed any kind of stock during the 
winter. The valleys are generally thicklycovered with the grasses, and 
various other kinds of vegetation, during the entire winter. Farther south, 
the vegetation puts forth very soon after the rains commence to fall, and 


continues to grow all winter, so that the pasturage for stock, is equally, 
as good at that season, as at any other, and perhaps, better than it is in 
the summer. Here during the winter, not only the valleys, but the hills 
and mountains also, are everywhere covered with green, fresh grass; but 
in the latter part of the summer, and fore part of the fall, from the con- 
tinued drought, all vegetation is generally, completely dried and divested of 
its principal nutriment. The rainy season commences in November, and 
continues until March inclusive, and during all the residue of the year, 
scarcely a drop of rain falls. In the rainy season, rains fall almost inces- 
santly, but not in great quantities ; though they usually fall in such quan- 
tities, and so continually, as to prevent the advantageous transaction of 
most kinds of business. The cold, or winter weather, is chiefly, confin- 
ed to the months of December, January and February. From what has 
already been said, in reference to the climate of this section, it will 
be readily perceived, that there is a very great difference of tempera- 
ture, in the same latitude, on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. There are 
more than ten degrees difierence between the temperature on the east and 
west side of the Rocky mountains, in the same latitude, especially, on the 
coasts. It is milder in latitude 50 deg. north, on the Pacific coast, than it 
is in latitude 40 deg. north, on the Atlantic coast. The chief cause of this 
extraordinary difference of temperature, in the same latitude, is perhaps, 
the prevailing winds, on the Pacific coast, from the north during the sum.- 
mer, and .from the. south during the winter. The climate of the extreme 
southern part of this section, is much milder, and more delightful, than 
that just described. Here snow seldom falls, and there is much less rain 
during the winter, or rainy season; the climate here, in fact, very much 
resembles that of Upper California. From the foregoing f^acts, in refer- 
ence to the climate, very correct conclusions rnay, perhaps, be formed in 
reference to the health of Oregon. Febrile diseases are seldom if ever 
known, in any portion of the Eastern or Middle sections; and as no local 
febrific causes are found in any part of these sections, the presumption is, 
that they will always possess superior advantages, in point of healthful- 
ness. The Western section is also very healthy, yet intermittent fevers 
prevail to a limited extent, in some portions. These fevers, however, are 
found to be of a much less obstinate character, than those which prevail 
on the east side of the mountains, as they yield very readily to any of the 
ordinary curatives. Cases of remittent fevers, have scarcely ever been 
known, in any portion of this country. It has been remarked, that al- 
though this country appears to be entirely exempt from all local causes 
of disease, yet it has, at some former period, been very unhealthy. As a 
proof of this view, you are referred to the numerous, and extensive bury- 
ing-grounds of the natives; but the devastation which disease has evi- 
dently made among them, has been much more attributable to the rude 
treatment, which they adopt, than to the obstinacy of the disease. 

The productions of the Eastern Section are much more limited, both in 
variety and quantity, than those of the Western section, yet they are in 
all respects, very similar to those of the Middle section. The same di- 
versity obtains, throughout all these sections, in reference to productions, 
as well as to soil and climate, which will be fully seen, from what will 
now follow. As before remarked, timber is found in some portions of the 
Eastern section, in sufficient quantities for all valuable purposes, but as a 
general thing, there is a very great deficiency of timber. Wherever it 


is found, however, it usually grows with great luxuriance. It consists 
chiefly of white and yellow pine, white and red cedar, fir, spruce, 
hemlock, arbour vita3, cherry and willow. Many portions of this section are 
well suited to the producing of wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, hemp, 
flax, potatoes, turnips, and in fact, all kinds of vegetables, common to a 
northern climate, as well as such fruits as apples, pears, peaches, plums, 
grapes and cherries. In addition to these fruits many wild fruits are also 
found, in the greatest abundance. Indian corn will not mature in any 

fiart of this section, which is attributed to the very cold nights, and ear- 
y frosts, to which every portion of this section is subject. The produc- 
tions of the Middle section, very much resemble those of the Eastern, 
yet there is perhaps, a slight shade of difl^ercnce, in some of the diflerent 
portions. The timber of this section, consists for the most part, of fir, 
pine, cedar, spruce, hemlock, oak of several kinds, ash, arbutus, arbour 
vitse, maple, willow and cherry, in the north ; and fir, pine, cedar, oak, 
ash, arbutus and willow in the south. This section is also capable, in 
many places, of producing wheat, rye, oats, barley, beans, peas, hemp, 
flax, tobacco and most kinds of vegetables, in considerable abundance. 
Several kinds of fruits, may also be produced here, in quantities suflicient 
for all ordinary purposes. Such fruits as apples, pears, peaches, plums, 
cherries, grapes, and several kinds of wild fruits, grow most luxuriantly, 
in various portions of this section. But very few agricultural experi- 
ments have, as yet, been made in either the Eastern or Middle sections, 
but sufficient has been determined, in this respect, to warrant the forego- 
ing statements. In the Middle, as in the Eastern section, it has also been 
determined that our common Indian corn, will not mature, which is ovv'- 
ing to the same cause as that before mentioned. 

In the Western section, we find a much greater variety, and abundance 
of productions. The timber of this section, consists chiefly, of pine, fir, 
cedar, red and white oak, ash, arbour vitce, arbutus, maple, poplar, wil- 
low and cherry. The undergrowth consists, generally, of hazel, rose, 
grape vines, and a great variety of shrubs and bushes, all of which to- 
gether, form an undergrowth so dense, thpa in many places, it is actually 
impenetrable. Timber of the most extraordinary growth is found in 
many portions of this section. Both in the north and south, it is not un- 
common to see fir and pine trees three hundred feet in height, and from 
twenty to sixty feet in circumference. Their usual height, however, is 
from fifty to two hundred feet ; and their circumference from ten to thirty 
feet. There are very few portions of the world, perhaps, which afford 
a gr'eater variety, and quantity, or a better quality of timber, than this 
section of Oregon. The timber south of the Columbia, although it is, in 
many places, equally as large and thrifty, yet it is not as valuable for lum- 
ber, as that north of that river. In the south, it is much more spungy 
and porous, than in the north, consequently, it is much more subject to 
contraction and expansion, when manufactured into lumber. The south 
side of the trees, in the south, also possess much more porosity than the 
north side, consequently, lumber made of this timber would be much less 
valuable, as one part of it would be much more subject, than the other, to ex- 
cessive contractions and expansions. Both the climate and the soil in 
many portions of this section are well suited to the growing of wheat, 
rye, oats, barley, flax, hemp, beans, peas and tobacco, as well as the vari- 
ous kinds of garden vegetables. Indian corn does not mature in any 


part of this section, as far as it has been tried, but there is no doubt but 
that it, as well as cane, cotton and rice, may be grown with much success, 
in the extreme southern part of this section. Several kinds of the north- 
ern fruits succeed here, extremely well, especially apples, pears, peaches, 
plums, grapes and cherries. For the growing of all the northern fruits, 
there are very few countries better adapted than this section, the extreme 
southern part of which, is also admirably suited to the growing of many 
of the tropical fruits. Wheat is the principal grain grown in this sec- 
tion as yet, the greatest quantities of which are produced at the Wallam- 
mette valley, the Fualitine plains, and the farms of theHudson'sBay Compa- 
ny, at Vancouver, Nisqually and the Cawlitz. The average crop, is about 
fifteen bushels to the acre, yet, I have no doubt, but that portion of this sec- 
tion, which lies south of the Columbia river, and which is susceptible of 
cultivation, may, with proper agricultural skill, be made to produce twen- 
ty-five or thirty bushels to the acre. The northern portion will never 
produce so abundantly, as the southern part, for, as has been before re- 
marked, its soil is generally, much less fertile, and its climate much less 
adapted to the luxuriant production of any kind of grain or vegetables. 
Wherever wheat has been grown as yet, the first crop is found to be of 
very little value ; so valueless in fact, that in many instances it is not har- 
vested. I was informed by several respectable farmers, that from the first 
sowing, they could not, as a general thing, rely upon receiving more than 
the seed sown, and that, in many instances, even the seed sown, was not 
received. But a fact was also stated to me, by several respectable gentle- 
men, which clearly shows the peculiar adaptation of this country, to the 
growing of this species of grain, especially, after it is reduced to a proper 
state of cultivation. The fact alluded to is, that after having subdued the 
land properly, having sowed your wheat, and having harvested it, a 
spontaneous growth will spring up the succeeding year, and you will re- 
ceive a very good crop without a second sowing. 

As has been stated upon a former page, all the different sections of Or- 
egon, are much better suited to the rearing of herds, than to farming pur- 
poses. Some experiments in this respect have been made, in all the 
different sections. In the Eastern section, at Forts Hall and Boisia, both 
horses and cattle are reared in large numbers, where they thrive most 
admirably. The Indians of this section also, rear horses in vast num- 
bers, and of a very superior quality. In the Middle section, horses and 
cattle are also reared in great numbers, by the missionaries, at their differ- 
ent stations, and by the gentlemen of the Hudson's Bay Company, at the 
different fg^ts. The Indians here also, rear horses, in the various parts 
of this section, in very large numbers. Both the horses and cattle of these 
sections thrive exceedingly well, and that too, without the ordinary atten- 
tion of feeding and housing. The Western section is seldom surpassed, as 
a grazing country, and it is to this purpose that it is most eminently 
adapted, especially, the southern portion, where cattle, horses and sheep, 
may be reared in any numbers, with no other expense than that of era- 
ploying herdsmen and shepherds. The necessity of feeding and housing 
any kind of herds, is here obviated, by the mildness of the climate, and 
the puUing forth of the vegetation, during the winter season. Vast herds of 
horses, cattle and sheep, are latterly driven to this section, from Upper 
California, by which means, the entire country is destined, in a very short 
time, to become extensively stocked. Each farmer has, even now, from 


twenty to a thousand head of cattle, about as many horses, and from twen^ 

ly to one hundred head of sheep. Notwithstanding the ease and facility 
with which herds are here reared, they are equally as valuable, if nof 
more so, here than they are in the States. Horses are worth from twenty 
to fifty dollars per head; oxen from forty to eighty dollars per yoke ; cows 
from ten to thirty dollars per head ; other grown cattle, from eight to fifteen 
dollars per head; and sheep, from one to four dollars per head. Cattle 
and horses however, which are driven from the States, are considered 
much more valuable, than those which are driven from CalifornTa, as 
they are thought to be better blooded; which view, I think, is entirely un- 
founded. But the preference of our people, for every thing that is Amer- 
ican, every thing that is reared in their own country, as well as the great 
difficulty of driving cattle and horses to that country, will always cause 
them to command a much higher price. Oxen driven from the States, 
are worth from fifty to one hundred dollars per yoke ; cows from twenty 
to fifty dollars per head; and other grown cattle, from fifteen to forty dol- 
lars per head. Horses driven from the States, are generally, worth from 
fifty to one hundred and fifty dollars per head. I have frequently heard 
the belief expressed, that neither horses nor cattle, driven from the States, 
would thrive in that country, because of the incessant rains of the winters 
there, and their not being housed during that inclement season; but ex- 
perience proves, that they thrive most admirably, and even better than 
they do in the States. 

All the various rivers of Oregon, abound with a great variety of fish, 
of the very best kinds. They are very abundant in all the different sec- 
tions ; but Ihe streams of the Western section afford the greatest abundance. 
They are found, however, in each of the other sections, in quantities suffi- 
cient to supply a very dense population. There are innumerable and in- 
exhaustible fisheries on the coast, and in all the different rivers, through- 
out all the different sections, both in the north and south. These abound 
with fish in the greatest abundance, and of almost every variety, consisting, 
cJiiefly, however, of salmon, salmon trout, cod, carp, sturgeons, flounder, 
ray, perch, lamprey and herring. Most of these are taken throughout the 
year, but in much greater quantities, during the months of May and Octo- 
ber; at which seasons, all the different tribes of Indians, are congregated 
at the different fisheries, for the purpose of obtaining their supplies for the 
residue of the year. Most of the Indians of all Oregon, subsist almost 
entirely upon them, either in their fresh or dried state. In drying them, 
no salt is used ; they are either exposed to the rays of the sun, or hung or 
spread in houses provided for that purpose, and dried in the shade. The 
atmosphere is so pure and arid, that they are perfectly cured in a very few 
days, even in the shade, without salt, and without any danger whatever, 
of putrefaction. The Indians not only take them in such quantities as to 
supply their own wants, but also in sufficient quantities, to supply all the 
different settlers, during the entire year. They usually take them 
with seines, which they make for that purpose, and which, in fact, are 
nearly as well constructed as those used by our own people. Spears and 
peculiarly constructed traps, are also used in taking them, in some por- 
tions of the country ; and in others, the Indians take them very readily, 
even with their hands. In small streams, for the purpose of taking 
them more readily, with their spears or hands, they drive small stakes, 
thickly in the bottom of the streams, side by side, entirely across their beds. 


which prevent the fish from passing up or down, but do not materially 
interrupt the flow of the water. The fish, being thus interrupted in their 
course, congl egate in great numbers, at the stakes, passing from space to 
space, endeavoring to get through, when the Indians, taking advantage of 
their confusion, wade among ihem, and take them with all ease, either 
with their spears, hands or otherwise. Upon the coast, several kinds of 
shell fish are found, such as crabs, clams, muscles and oysters, all of 
which, are used by the natives, in that vicinity, as a principal article of 
food. The oysters of Oregon are very small, but they are of a very ex- 
cellent kind, and are perhaps, not inferior, to those taken any where on 
the Atlantic coast. Along the coast, the entire extent of the country, 
whales are found in great numbers, and they are frequently taken by the 
Indians, especially at the straits of Juan de Fucas. The American and 
English whale ships, very seldom visit that region, although they might 
find it very profitable to do so, as whales are as abundant there, as in any 
other portion of the north Pacific. 

The game of the Eastern and Middle sections, is not very abundant. 
It consists chiefly, of bear, wolves, elk, antelope, muskrats, foxes, beav- 
ers and martens. Buff'alo are also found, in the Eastern section ; but in 
much less numbers, than in the country east of the Rocky mountains. 
No game, can be said to be very plentiful, in either of these sections. 
Persons may travel through many parts, of both these sections, for 
weeks together, and not see a wild animal of any kind, during the whole 
time. The fur-bearing animals are the most numerous, but they are much 
less numerous latterly, and they are constantly diminishing in numbers. 
Other than the fur-bearing animals the game of the Middle section, 
is of very litfle or no importance, that of the Eastern section is 
important only for the fur-bearing animals and the buffalo. Wa- 
ter-fowls are very seldom met with, in either of these sections, which, 
may perhaps, be attributed to the temperature of their waters, the sterility 
of their soil, and the variableness of their climate. The game of the 
Western section is much more abundant, yet, it can not be said to be 
very plentiful, even in this section. It consists principally of elk, ante- 
lope, deer, wolves, bear, foxes, martens, muskrals, beavers, otters and 
seals. In the southern part of this section, several kinds of game, are 
very plentiful, especially, the deer, elk, antelope and the bear. In many 
parts of this section also, the fur-bearing animals, are very numerous, but, 
they are by no means, as numerous now, as they formerly were ; and it 
is said, that tliey are annually decreasing, because of their being taken, 
without regard to the proper season. The decrease has been so great, in 
fact, that several of the trading posts, of the Hudson'sBay Company, have 
been abandoned, as they did not defray expenses. Whenever that com- 
pany, however, has had the entire control of the trade, the decrease has 
been much less perceptible; as the trappers of that company, are required 
to trap, Avith strict regard to the proper season ; and to observe every 
particular circumstance, which may tend to prevent, a diminution of the 
fur-bearing animals. In that part of this section, where the settlements 
are now being made, by our citizens, deer and wolves are the most nu- 
merous game, of the quadruped kind. The latter of these animals, are 
very numerous, and troublesome to the surrounding setflers, among whom 
they make frequent incursions, destroying their sheep, hogs, and even 
young calves, in great numbers. In addition to the game before referred 



to, all the various rivers of this section, abound with innumerable flocks, 
of geese, clucks, brants, cranes, pelicans, swans, gulls, and a great variety 
of other water-fowls. Besides these, there arc numerous other feathered 
animals, such as hawks, eagles, ravens, thrushes, pheasants, woodpeck- 
ers, partridges, grouses, snowbirds and robins. Robins are very seldom 
found in the northern part of this section, but, are numerous in the south- 
ern part, as are also bluebirds, and several other birds common in the 
States. The water-fowls, above enumerated, are very numerous, in the 
spring and autumn, when they appear to have congregated, from all the 
surrounding country, and from their incessant croacking, squeaking and 
flapping of wings, you would be inclined to think, that they were con- 
vened, in sporting convention, from all parts of the world. So numerous 
are they, in fact, that their tumultuous croaking, and plunging and dash- 
ing in the water is, in many places, noisome in the extreme. It is scarce- 
ly necessary here to remark, that it is entirely unnecessary, for em- 
igrants to take either beds or feathers, from the states to that country. 
Feathers of the best quality, can be obtained from the Indians, in any de- 
sired quantities, for any trivial compensation. 

The settlements and improvements in Oregon, are principally confined 
to the forts of the Hudson's BayCompany, and the missionary stations, in 
the different sections. But besides these, there are several other settle- 
ments, as well as ^owns, and other improvements, latterly commenced, 
in various sections of the country, which are disconnected, with the forts 
and missions ; all of which, will now be noticed in successive order. 
These small settlements, called forts, are mere trading posts, established 
for the purpose of carrying on trade, with the various tribes of Indians, 
and are now, all possessed and occupied by the Hudson's BayCompany, for 
that purpose. In all, there are eighteen of these, two of which are situa- 
ted in the Eastern section ; eight in the Middle section ; and eight in the 
Western section. Instead of describing each of them particularly, I shall 
merely give a description, of one of the principal of them, in each sec- 
tion ; and give the locality of each of the others, which, it is believed, will be 
found sufficient, for all the ordinary purposes, of the emigrant. The 
most important of these posts, found in the Eastern section, is Fort Hall, 
which is situated on the Lewis' or Saptin river, about sixty miles, west 
by north, from the soda springs, and near latitude 42° 30' north. It was 
constructed by captain Wythe, of Boston, in the year 1832, for the pur- 
pose of prosecuting trade, with the various tribes of Indians, found in that 
region. It is now owned bythe Hudson'sBay Company, who purchased 
it of captain Wythe, and who is now carrying on a very extensive busi- 
ness at that place, in the fur trade. This fort consists of a small extent 
of ground, inclosed by a wall of about sixteen feet in height, and three in 
thickness, which is constructed of "adobies," or large dried brick, with 
bastions at the corners, which command each side. Within this inclo- 
sure, are the residences of the different officers, and mechanics, as well 
as the various offi(ies, shops and store-houses. Mr. Grant, who is in 
charge, at this place, and of whom I have before spoken, has at his com- 
mand, and under his control, about sixty Canadians and half-breeds, who 
serve the company as trappers, herdsmen and domestic servants. Large 
numbers of horses and cattle are reared at this fort, which are protected 
from the incursions of the, Indians, by an inclosure of high walls, con- 


structed in a manner similar to those of the fort. This inclosure, is 
;alled a " caral," and is designed not only for the protection of the horses 
(i^ at night, at which time they are regularly driven in, but also upon the ap- 

proach of hostile and thievish Indians. 
V In addition to these securities, herdsmen are constantly kept out, who 

^ repel all inferior forces, and give timely notice of that wliich is superior. 

With this kind of expensive procaution, the company is enabled to rear 
any requisite number of either horses or cattle, and that too, without the 
expense of feeding or housing. Several kinds of grain and vegetables, 
are produced here, with ordinary success, though the company has not, 
so far, been able to grow sufficient grain and vegetables for the consump- 
tion of the post, yet this may be attributable to defective cultivation. The 
remaining fort, in this section, which belongs to the Hudson's Bay Com- 
*^ pany, is Kutanie, which is situated on Flat-bow river, about one hundred 

and fifty miles from its mouth. It is constructed much like Fort Hall, 
and is kept up, and conducted, in a similar manner, and for similar pur- 
poses. Fort Boisia, is also]situated in this section, and although aban- 
doned, by the company, it is still kept up, and occupied by a Mr. Payette, 

^^^ who occupies it for the purpose of trade v.'ith the Indians. This Fort is 

situated in the midst of this section, on the north side of Lewis' river, 

about forty rods from its northern bank. It is constructed much like 

those just mentioned, but is the seat of a much more limited business, than 

^' either of those above described. 

Fort Wallawalla is the principal establishment of this kind, in the Mid- 
dle section. It is sicuated on the south side of the Columbia river, within 
a few rods of its bank, at latitude 45 deg. north. From the central posi- 

k tion of this fort, in reference to those on the coast, and in the interior, it 

is m^ade the great depot, for all those in the more remote and mountainous 
regions. An extensive trade is here carried on, with the surrounding 
tribes of Indians, and herds of horses and cattle are also here reared, in 
such numbers as to afford ample supplies of both, to many of the interior 
posts. Grain and vegetables are also grown at this fort, in sufficient 

^ quantities for the consumption of the post. This fort is constructed in a 

manner, quite similar, to Fort Hall, though it is much less extensive. 
Fort Okanagan, is situated on the Columbia river, about two hundred 
miles above Wallawalla, and near latitude 48 deg. north. Fort Cole- 
ville is also on the Columbia, about one hundred miles above Okanagan. 
It is situated, in the midst of a beautiful and fertile plain, where an abun- : 
dance of grain and vegetables are grown, and herds of cattle and horses I 
are reared. The remaining five forts of this section, are Alexandria, ! 
cr>' Barbine, St. James, Kamloops, and Chilcothin, all of which, are situated 1 
upon Frasier's river, and its tributaries. These are all constructed upon 
a plan, similar to that of those before described, but, upon a scale more or 
less extensive, as the business in the portion of the country in which they i 
are situated, seems to demand. J 

Of the forts of the Western section, Vancouver is, by far, the most im- 
portant, as it is the great depot of the Hudson's Bay Company, for all that 
region of country west of the Rocky mountains. It is located on the 
north side of the Columbia river, about eighty rods from its north bank, 
and ninety miles from the ocean, at latitude 45 deg. 30 min. north, and 
longitude 122 deg. 30 min. west. It was established in the year 1824, 
[jy Governor Simpson^ aiid was designed as the great commercial dcpot^ 


of that herculean company. This fort is about fifty rods in length, and 
thirty in width, and is inclosed by a palisade, which is about eighteen 
feet nigh, with bastions at the corners. Within this inclosure, are about 
forty cheaply constructed buildings, which are occupied as dwelling 
houses, offices, store-houses, shops and lodging apartments. Within this 
fort, you see nothing but stirring activity, and the most persevering indus- 
try ; officers, clerks, mechanics and servants, are always to be seen con- 
stantly passing and re-passing, each intent upon the prompt and eftcient 
discharge, of his individual duty; which, together with the diligent and 
incessant plying of the hammers, sledges and axes, and the confused toll- 
ing and ringing of bells, present all the impetuous commotion, rustling, 
tumultuous din and rumbling of a city life, in the oriental world. 

Dr. McLoughlin, who is chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
west of the Rocky mountains, is in charge. He is courteous, intelligent 
and companionable, and a more kind, hospitable and liberal gentleman, the 
world never saw. Every possible attention, kindness and hospitality are 
extended to all those who visit him, either upon business or otherwise ; 
some of whom he invites to his own table, where they are treated with all 
the courtesy and etiquette of English refinement. For all others, a 
spacious apartment is provided, which is called the "bachelor's hall," and 
which, contains a convenient sitting room, a dining room, and several 
comfortable lodging apartments, all of which, are provided expressly for 
those who are not invited to his private table. Those who occupy the 
"bachelor's hall," are also furnished with all the luxuries of the fort; 
servants are in readiness to give them any attention, and, although they 
remain for weeks, or even months together, as many have, the kindness, 
attention and hospitality of the doctor, are still, unremittingly bestowed. 
But the kindness and hospitality of this gentleman, do not end here, for 
when his guests wish to return to their homes, a cart with servants, is 
sent, to convey their baggage or goods to the river; and all this too, with- 
out promise or hope of reward. A Mr. James Douglass, who is occa- 
sionally in charge of this fort, in the absence of the doctor, is also an in- 
telligent gentleman, and is alike courteous, kind and hospitable as the 
doctor. This gentleman is now, in charge of a fort, which the company 
was building, when I left that country. About one hundred rods below 
Fort Vancouver, and near the river, is the village, which is connected 
with the fort, and which consists of about fifty small and cheaply con- 
structed buildings, which are occupied by the servants of the company. 
In connection with this fort, there is also, a very large farm, consisting of 
about three thousand acres of land under fence; the cultivating of which, 
gives constant employment to about one hundred hands, who are gene- 
rally, half-breeds and Indians. Near the fort also, are a saw and flouring 
mill, both of which, run day and night, during the entire year, and hence, 
do a most extensive business. This site has been well selected, in refer- 
ence to the future improvements of the country ; and I am of the opinion, 
that it is much the best site for a town or city, to be found upon the Col- 
umbia; and I am of the further opinion too, that the time is not distant, 
when the present site of Vancouver, will be occupied by a great com- 
mercial city. 

Fort George is situated, on the south side .of the Columbia, upon the 
hill side, near the river, but a few miles from the mouth, and near lati- 
tude 46 deg. north. The buildings of this tort, consist of three small 


log -houses, which are occupied by persons in the service of the company, 
for the purpose of trade with the Indians, and also for the purpose of 
keeping the officers of Fort Vancouver, duly advised of the arrival of 
ships, and such other occurrences as may be deemed important. The 
only importance which is now attached to this fort, is derived from the 
fact, of its being the former site of Astoria ; the establishment of John 
Jacob Astor, of New York, which was made in the year 1811 ; taken 
possession of by the British, as an act of war, during the war of 1812; 
and restored to the United States in 1818, in accordance with the treaty 
of Ghent. Nothing now remains of Astoria, but a few remnants of the 
old palisade, scarely sufficient to identify the seat of that great enterprise; 
the classic narrative in reference to which, has spread the name and fame, 
of both John Jacob Astor, and Washington Irving, wherever the En- 
glish language is read. The importance of the remaining forts, of this 
section, will not warrant a minute description of each ; I shall therefore, 
merely give their respective locality. Fort Simpson is situated on Dun- 
das island, at latitude 54 deg. 20 min. north. Fort McLoughlin is on Mill- 
bank sound, near latitude 52 deg. north. Fort Langley is at the outlet of 
Frasier's river, near latitude 49 deg. 25 min. north. Furt Nisqually is 
situated at latitude 47 deg. north, near Pugets' sound. Fort Cawlitz is on 
the Cawlitz river, about thirty miles from the Columbia, and near latitude 
46 deg. 40 min. north. The only remaining fort of this section is Fort 
Umpqua, which is situated at the mouth of the Umpqua river, at latitude 
43 deg. 30 min. north, and longitude 124 deg. west. These are all con- 
structed much like Fort Vancouver, but they are much less extensive, yet, 
they are generally, seats of extensive and lucrative trade. Besides the 
improvements in connection with Fort Vancouver, the company also has 
very extensive farms at the Cawlitz, Nisqually, Langley and the Fuali- 
tine plains. At each of these considerable grain is grown, and many 
horses and cattle are reared. That at Nisqually, is more particularly 
designed as a grazing farm, to which purpose, it is eminently adapted. 
Upon this farm, the company keeps about eighty milk cows; has an ex- 
tensive dairy, and make both butter and cheese, not only in quantities suf- 
ficient for home consumption, but it also makes much for exportation. 
The farm at the Cawlitz, is a most beautiful place, containing about six 
hundred acres, under a high state of cultivation, which yield both vegeta- 
bles and various kinds of grain, in great abundance. At the Fualitine 
plains also, grain and vegetables grow most luxuriantly, and produce 
abundantly. The foregoing is but a faint exhibit of the power, and the 
agricultural and commercial resources, of this great heremitical company. 
Since it is true, as above seen, that this gigantic company, of British 
ubjects, holds the almost entire control, not only of the trade, but also of 
the agricultural and commercial resources, of all Oregon, a brief descrip- 
tion of that company, may not be deemed inappropriate. This great 
company, was created in the year 1 670, during the reign of Charles II, by a 
charter which was granted to certain British subjects, under the name and 
style of the Hudsons'BayCompany. This Company was created, with 
the view of carrying on the fur trade in Oregon, where it soon established, 
and held the uninterrupted control of the entire trade, of all thatcountry, until 
the year 1787, when the North American Fur Company was chartered. 
This Company also established in Oregon, and commenced a very ex- 
tensive trade, throughout the different portions of that country ; but it 


soon came in competition and coalition with the Hudson's Bay Company, 
which gave rise to many serious difficulties. The attention of the Brit- 
ish government was soon directed to these companies, and as there was 
no probability of reconciliation, an act of parliamant was passed, uniting 
the two companies, under the name and style of the Hudson'sBayCom- 
pany, under which name it has continued its operations, up to the present 
time, wielding an almost unbounded trade, with unparalleled success. The 
officers of this company, as now organized, consists of a governor gener- 
al, chief factors and chief traders. The governor general has charge of 
all the different trading posts or forts, in North America, and for that pur- 
pose resides at York Factory, on Hudson's Bay. The chief factors have 
the control of a certain number of forts or trading posts, within a certain 
district, or section of country, subject however, to the general superin- 
tendence of the governor general. The chief traders also have control 
of a certain number of trading posts, within a particular district, being 
subject to the superintendence of the chief factors. Thus, we have briefly 
noticed, the origin, and the present organization, of that powerful compa- 
ny, which has, so entirely, wielded the destinies of Oregon, for more than 
half of a century. 



Missionary stations; number of; description of . Br. Whitman's station. 
Station at the dalles . Settlements and, improvements. Those at the Wal- 
lammette valley ; at theFualitine plains ; at the Wallammelte falls. Oregon 
city. Linnton. Kind of buildings. Mills ; number of Water power. 
Roads, Printing-press. Steam-engine. Popnlatinn ; fiumberoj; des- 
criptioTi. of; Use of ardent spirits prohibited. Hospitable reception of em.- 
igrants. Moral improvement. Oregon emigrants ; peculiar character 
of Indians; number of ; where fotind. Of Eastern section. Black feet ; 
hostility of Shoshonies and Bonarks ; said to be '"friendly ;''^ thievish 
disposition of Of the Middle section. Skiuseand Nezpemies ; adroitness 
in horse trading; their horses; superior (pialify (f; vast nundjers of; 
their thievery. Those of the Western section ; their m.eans of sustenance ; 
mode of constructing huts ; their service to settlers ; their friendly dispo- 
sition ; their thievish propensities. Government ; organization of; de- 
sign of Laws of Iowa adopted. Biitish subjects not subject to. 
Laws of Canada adopted. Conflicting jurisdictions. Right of U. S. to 
extend their jurisdiction over Oregon. Markci Trade. Commerce. 

The various missionary stations, together with the improvements in 
connection with them, next deserve our attention, in describing which, I 
shall for the sake of brevity, confine m)^ remarks chiefly, to the more impor- 
tant stations. In all there are eiglit stations in Oregon, four of which, 
are in the Middle section, and four in the Western section. There was, 
also a station, formerly, in the Eastern section, but it is now abandoned. 
This station was called Kaima, and was situated on Koosekooseke riv^er,in 


the vicinity of Fort Boisia. The principal station found in the Middle 
section, is a presbyterian station, which is situated on the Wallawalla riv- 
er, about twenty-five miles easterly from Fort Wallawalla. This is the 
station, to which I have alluded upon another page, as being under the su- 
perintendence of Dr. Whitman, and which is called Dr. Whitman's mis- 
sion. At this station, there is a very large farm, under a good state of cul- 
tivation, which produces a great abundance of both grain and vegetables. 
The buildings are very convenient, consisting of two large dwelling-houses, 
one of which, was not entirely completed, when I was at that place. The 
walls of these buildings, are constructed of "adobies," or large dried 
brick. In connection with these, there is also, a flouring- mill, which 
answers all the purposes of the missionaries, and the dependent natives. 
Near this mill, there is also, a large " caral," or inclosure, into 
which, the cattle and horses are daily driven, as at Fort Hall, and else- 
where, througliout this region. Large numbers of American cattle, and 
Skiuse, and Wallawalla horses, are reared at this place, and they all thrive 
most admirably, notwithstanding the inclement winters, of this excessively 
cold region. There are two other stations, at the east, and north of this, 
called the Lapwai and the Chimekaine stations ; but the only remaining 
station of this section, which I shall more particularly notice, is that at the 
dalles, which is situated about a mile from the Columbia river, on the 
south side, upon the adjacent high lands, just below the dalles. Between 
this station and the river, is a most beautiful and fertile valley, on which, 
herds of fine cattle and horses, belonging to the missionaries, are always 
to be seen grazing, in great numbers. The buildings of this station, con- 
sist of a dwelling-house, a school-house, workshops and several out- 
houses. This is a beautiful station, and the missionaries here appear to 
be in very comfortable circumstances. There is not a very extensive 
tract of land, under cultivation, in connection with this station, but both 
grain and vegetables, are grown in sufficient quantities, for the consump- 
tion of the missionaries, and the natives in their service. The missiona- 
ries of all this section, and especially, those at the presbyterian stations, 
are laboring with much success, both in christianizing, and civilizing the 
natives. Agricultural pursuits, have already been introduced among them, 
to a very considerable extent ; and many of them, even now, grow con- 
siderable grain, rear large herds, build houses ; and in fact, exhibit an ex- 
traordinary advancement in civiHzation, considering the brief duration of 
missionary labors in that region. 

The missionary stations of the W^estern section, are located at the Wal- 
lammette valley, the Wallammette fails , Clatsop and Nisquaily. 
That station situated in the Wallammette valley, is the principal and most 
important station of this section. It it is situated about fifty miles above 
the falls, a few miles east of the Wallammette river, where the buildings 
in connection with the station, consist of dwelling-houses, barns, shops, 
store-houses, churches, school-houses and mills. In all, there are about 
fourteen buildings, belonging to this station, which are located at different 
points in this valley, varying from one to eight miles in distance, from 
each other. At the Indian school, thirty or forty Indian children, are 
now being taught the rudiments of the English language, with a view of 
facilitating the promulgation of the doctrines of the christian religion. 
There are also two large farms, in connection with this station, which are 
very extensive, and which produce ample grain and vegetables, foi the- 


! consumption of all the different stations of this section, as well as much 
I grain for exportation. Here too, cattle, horses, sheep and hogs, are rear- 
i ed in much greater numbers, than at any of the other stations. There is 
' also a store, connected with this station, where goods are annually sold, 
' both to the settlers, and the Indians, to the amount of several thousand 
! dollars. The Rev. Jason Lee is in charge at this station, and is the gen- 
; eral superintendent, of all the Methodist missionary stations in Oregon. 
I He is gentlemanly, kind and hospitable, and with all, a very energetic 
! and enterprising man. He extends great kindness and hospitality, to the 
{ numerous emigrants, who are constantly arriving in that country. The 
i station at the falls, is situated but a few rods below the catarL*ct ; the build- 
j ings consist of two dwelling-houses, a store-house and a ware-house. At this 
; place also, as at the valley, there is a store, at which large quantities of 
i goods are daily sold, by the missionaries, to both whites and Indians, 
from which extensive profits are annually derived. The Indians in the 
vicinity of this station, are occasionally convened, either at the falls, or 
the Klackamus, for the purpose of religious instruction ; but it appears 
to be with the greatest reluctance, that they assemble, upon such occa- 
sions. The stations at Nisqually and Clatsop, are much less important, 
than those just described, as there are but a very few missionaries sta- 
tioned at each, merely for the purpose of imparting religious instruction 
to the few Indians, who are connected with each station. Nor is there 
any additional settlements of whites, in connection with either of these 
stations, which will enable the missionaries, to extend their labors among 
them, as religious teachers. At both of these stations, grain and vege- 
tables are grown, to some extent, and cattle and horses are reared in num- 
bers sufficient for the purposes of the stations. Although the station at 
the falls, may have been, and may at this time be, of some importance, as 
a means of imparting religious instruction, to the natives, yet the time is 
not far distant, when it can be of no further importance, in that respect; 
for it is evident, from the importance of that point, for manufacturing and 
commercial purposes, that the Indians will not be permitted, long to re- 
main either there, or in the immediate vicinity. And my impression is, 
that none of those missionary establishments, can long exist, as such, in 
that part of the Western section ; for there are but very few Indians, in the 
immediate neighborhood, of any of these stations, to require the attention 
of missionaries. And, as that is far the most fertile, and delightful por- 
tion of Oregon, which is as yet occupied, it is very evident, that the na- 
tives will, in a very few years, at farthest, be required to change their 

The settlements and improvements, which are disconnected with the 
forts and missions, are chiefly at the Wallammette valley, the Fualitine 
plains, and the Wallammette falls. The settlement at the Wallammette 
valley, is at present, the most extensive settlement in the country. It con- 
tains about one hundred families, who have extensive farms, and who are 
otherwise comfortably situated. Each of the farmers in this valley, gen- 
erally have, from one hundred to five hundred acres of land under fence, 
and in a good state of cukivation, upon which, they grow annually, from 
five hundred to a thousand bushels of wheat for exportation, besides 
beans, peas and potatoes, turnips and various other vegetables, which they 
grow in great abundance. They also usually rear cattle, horses, sheep 
and hogs, in large numbers; each farmer generally having, from fifty to 


five hundred head of cattle, from ten to one hundred head of horses, and 
as many sheep and hogs ; for all of which, the continued, annual emigra- 
tion, affords an ample market. In the Fuulitine plains, there are about 
fifty families, all of whom have selected, and are now improving their 
farms. They generally have from fifty, to a hundred acres of land, un- 
der fence, with cattle, horses, hogs and sheep, in large numbers. The 
settlers here, however, like those of the Wallammette valley, devote their 
principal attention, to the growing of wheat, of which, they sell annually, 
from one hundred to a thousand bushels, besides beans, peas, turnips, pota- 
toes and the like, for all of which, a ready market is found in the coun- 
try, as will be seen upon another page. The settlement at the falls, is 
less extensive than those just described, but from its very favorable situa- 
tion, it is, perhaps, more important than either of those. In the winter of 
1843, a town was laid ofT, near the falls, which has since improved, with 
unparalleled rapidity. It was surveyed under my direction, but at the ex- 
pense of Dr. McLoughlin, who claimed, and then occupied the site, and 
who, after having surveyed it, for a mile in extent, up and down the Wal- 
lammette river, permitted all persons who wished to do so, to take as 
many lots, as they would build upon and improve, requiring them merely 
to pay for the drawing of the writings, in reference to them. During the 
winter, there were numerous lots taken, upon these terms, and in the fol- 
lowing spring, there were thirty buildings, in Oregon City, which was 
the name given it, at the time of its surveyal. In the autumn of 1843, 
there were fifty three buildings in this town, among which, were four 
stores, four mills, two of which were flouring mills, one public-house, 
one black smith's shop and various other mechanic's shops ; a church 
was also in contemplation, and in fact, commenced. Many of the lots, 
which were obtained gratuitously, only the spring previous, were then 
worth at least, one thousand dollars each, and their value w^is daily in- 
creasing, with the improvements of the town. Such were the improve- 
ments of Oregon City, in the autumn of 1843, but about eight months, af- 
ter its emergent appearance. Oregon City is situated upon a very favor- 
able site for a town, and it is, beyond a doubt, destined to become a place 
of very considerable manufacturing and commercial importance. This 
opinion is strengthened, when we take into consideration, the fact, of its 
being near the head of slack-water navigation, and the fact, of its pos- 
sessing a water power, scarcely ever surpassed. For the present, and 
until other towns spring up, emigrants will, in a great measure, concen- 
trate at this place, especially merchants, mechanics and those of the learn- 
ed professions. But other towns are already, springing into existence, 
as additional evidences of the unbounded energy and enterprise of Amer- 
ican citizens. A town has been recently laid ofT, upon the west side of 
the Wallammette river, about five miles from its mouth, near the head of 
sloop navigation, and about ten miles below Vancouver ; called Linnton, in 
honor of the lamented Dr. Linn of Missouri. This is also, a very favora- 
ble site for a town, and is improving, with extraordinary rapidity. 

The improvements of the settlements, both in the valley and plains are 
quite similar to those in our western states. The buildings being usually 
constructed of logs, some of which are hewn, and others round, are intended 
only for temporary residences ; but many of them are very comfortable, and 
convenient. There are some exceptions to the above remarks, for there are 
several very commodious, and well-finished framed buildings, both inthe val- 


ley and the plains. The buildings in Oregon City, are, with a few excep- 
tions, framed and well-finished. Including saw and flouring mills, there are 
now fourteen in Oregon, many of which, are doing a very extensive and 
profitable business ; and there are innumerable sites for mills and other 
machinery, which are destined, soon to be occupied. There are perhaps, 
very few countries which afibrd more numerous, or more advantageous 
sites for the most extensive water power than Oregon. The people of this 
territory, in their anxiety to provide for their individual necessities, and 
to promote their individual interests, have paid but very little attention to 
the making of roads, and other public improvements. Traveling and trans- 
portation, are, as yet, chiefly on horseback, and by water, but from the 
nature of die soil however, there can be no difliculty, in making good 
roads, and thereby, rendering intercommunication easy, and transporta- 
tion cheap, throughout all portions of the country. The foregoing facts, 
in reference to the improvements of Oregon, afford a few evidences of the 
very enterprising character of the Oregon emigrants; but a further evi- 
dence is found in the fact of their having recently sent to New York for 
a printing-press and a steam-engine, which will be received sometime 
during the next summer or autumn ; when the same energy and enterprise 
that procured them, will soon put them into extensive and successful 

The entire population of Oregon, may now be estimated at about twen- 
ty-four thousand, including both whites and Indians, and the white pop- 
ulation, including Canadians and half-breeds, now amounts to about four 
thousand. The emigrants, up to the autumn of 1844, and the former 
American settlers inclusive, increase tho Amf'rican population to about 
three thousand. The officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, the Cana- 
dians and half-breeds, number about one thousand; and hence, it is seen, 
that the Indian population is about twenty thousand. The American pop- 
ulation, and the Canadians and half-breeds, who are disconnected with 
the company, are, as before remarked, chiefly settled at the falls of the 
Wallammette, the Fualitine plain, and the Wallammette valley. They 
are industrious, orderly, and good citizens; devoting their entire time and 
attention to the improvement of their farms, the growing of grain, and 
rearing of herds; they all appear to be intent, only upon the advancement 
of the general good. In every thing that tends to the advancement of the 
interests of the country, there appears to be a hearty co-operation, between 
the gentlemen of the Hudson Bay Company, and the American citizens. 
As one instance of extraordinary, and entire devotion to the best interest 
of the country, the Avhole co nmunity, with one unanimous voice, deter- 
mined to abandon the use of all alcoholic or inebriating liquors; and to 
prevent their introduction or sale, under any state of circumstances. In 
this measure, the gentlemen of the company perform a very efficient 
part, and although their own store-houses are full of intoxicating liquors, 
they sell none to any person. Upon the arrival of a vessel freighted with 
ardent spirits the doctor, McLoughlin, has been known to purchase the 
whole cargo, in order to prevent its sale among the settlers, when at the 
same time, he had hundreds of barrels in his own store-houses. A course 
equally prompt and energetic, is also pursued by the settlers themselves, 
as is seen in this instance. A Mr. Young, commenced the erection of a 
distillery, in the vicinity of the principal settlements, of which the settlers, 


were all soon advised, when a public meeting was called, for the purpose 
of adopting such measures, as might immediately arrest this work of 
death. Upon due deliberation, and full consideration of the subject, the 
meeting unanimously resolved, that Mr. Young should be paid for his 
building, already commenced ; but that he should also abandon the further 
prosecution of his most nefarious purpose, which if he did not do, his 
buildings and whatever else connected with them, however often erected, 
should as often, be demolished. This resolution, accompanied by an ap- 
propriate preamble, was presented to Mr. Young, who, after a few mo- 
ments reflection, saw the full force of these mandatory admonitions, and 
finally, consented to abandon his unrighteous enterprise. This certainly 
speaks volumes, for the morality and intelligence of the citizens of Oregon, 
and it is, no doubt, the chief cause of all that order and quiet, which so 
universally prevail, throughout all the different settlements. 

A kindness and hospitality exist, among those pioneers of the west, 
which is almost unparalleled. Upon the arriral of emigrants, in the 
country, immediate arrangements are made by the former settlers, to pro- 
vide them with houses and provisions, and every aid is rendered them in 
making their selections of lands, and procuring houses for themselvea. 
The doctor McLoughlin, also, affords them every aid in his power ; fur- 
nishing them with goods and teams, upon a credit, if they are unable to 
make immediate payment, providing them with wheat for their bread and 
seed, and receiving wheat the next year in payment; and letting them 
have cows and other cattle, to be returned in such time as shall be agreed 
upon, with a portion of the increase. This kindness and generosity of 
the doctor, are not confined to emigrants upon their arrival merely, but 
they are extended to every settler, and respectable inhabitant, in all the 
various portions of the country. Schools and churches are already, 
established throughout the country, and unlike all other new coun- 
tries, a very great anxiety prevails, for the speedy promotion, of the 
moral and intellectual improvement, of the rising generation, as a consid- 
eration, of high and paramount importance. Divine service is regularly 
attended, in every inhabited portion of the country, at least, once or twice 
each week, upon which occasions, sermons are delivered by the clergy- 
men, of the varaious christian denominations. In point of morality, and 
virtue, this little community, loses nothing, by a comparison with any 
comnmnity, on the east side of the Rocky mountains. Mechanics of all 
kinds, and men of all the learned professions, are even now, to be found 
in Oregon, and for so limited a population, there is a very fair proportion 
of talent and learning. And I may add, that the Oregon emigrants are, 
as a general thing, of a superior order to those of our people, who usually 
emigrate to our frontier countries. They are not the indolent, dissolute, 
ignorant and vicious, but they are generally, the enterprising, orderly, 
intelligent and virtuous. 

There are several powerful and warlike tribes of Indians, occupying 
each of the different sections. The principal tribes inhabiting the Eastern 
section, are the Shoshonies, or Snakes, the Black-feet, and the Bonarks. 
The Nezpercies also frequent this section, but their country is properly 
in the Middle section, where they are principally found. The Indians of 
this section are much less advanced in civilization, than those of the other 
sections. They are all said to be friendly, excepting the Black-feet, who 
have always been hostile. Emigrants, however, very seldom meet with 


them, in traveling to Oregon, by the way of Fort Hall, as their country 
lies far to the north of that route. They are not to be dreaded, however, 
when met by a large party of whites ; even forty or fifty armed men, are 
ample to deter them from 'any hostile movements. They should always 
be considered, and treated as enemies, whatever may be their pretensions 
of friendship. The Shoshonies or Snakes, the "Root-diggers," (a lower 
order of the same tribe,) and the Bonarks, although said to be friendly, 
are, in fact, not strictly so, in the sense in which that term is used in civ- 
ilized life. The word "friendly," as used by mountaineers, in reference 
to the Indians, only implies that they are not arrayed, in armed and hostile 
opposition to the whites ; that they are not actually seeking their indis- 
criminate destruction. This is a Rocky mountain definition, of the word 
''friendly." However "friendly" these Indians may be, they seek every 
possible opportunity, to steal your horses, and every thing else upon 
which they can lay their hands, and they avail themselves of every favor- 
able occasion, for forcibly taking from you, every thing that you possess, 
which they chance to desire or admire. There is no exception to this, 
only in the immediate neighborhood of the various forts, where they are 
held in awe by superior force. At these places, they appear to be in^ 
clined to accomplish their thievish purposes, with much more caution, 
and upon a much more limited system. Petit larceny is the most com- 
mon ofl!ence committed at these places, while grand larceny, and robbery 
are constantly being committed by them elsewhere ; but as they are "friend- 
ly," murder is an offence which they seldom commit. 

The principal tribes of the Middle section, are the Nezpercies, Skyu- 
ses, Wallawallas and Chenukes. The first of these tribes, here mention- 
ed, rear large numbers of horses, and some cattle, and they are notorious, 
not only for horse-trading, but for horse-stealing. The Nazpercies rear 
a much the greater number of horses, than any other tribe in Oregon ; I 
was informed, that one Nezpercie chief, had eleven thousand of fine 
horses ; this number, however, I suppose was perhaps, rather exaggera- 
ted. The best horses that I have ever seen, I saw among the Nezpesie, 
the Skyuse and Wallawalla tribes. The horses of these tribes, diflfer 
very much from those of the various other tribes; they are large, well 
proportioned, and extremely fleet and hardy. The Chonukes also, have 
some horses, but very few, in comparison to those of the tribes just men- 
tioned. Many of these Indians, grow a small kind of corn, and potatoes 
and melons, in considerable quantities, which are grown by some for 
food, and by others for the purpose of barter with the Indians of the 
E;istern section, for which they receive buffalo robes and meat in exchange. 
The women have been taught, by the missionaries, to spin, weave and 
knit, in which manner, many of them, employ much of their time, when 
their services are not required in the fields. They are also entirely 
*' friendly," that is, they are not inclined to take your life, if they can ac- 
complish all of their thievish purposes without. But a more villainous 
and treacherous race of thieves, can scarcely be found. Notwithstand- 
ing all the religious instruction, which they are daily receiving, and the 
moral influence, which is hourly exerted among them, they will unhesita- 
tingly, steal your knives, forks, plates, cups, horses, or any thing else, 
whenever an opportunity is afforded ; and almost any kind of an oppor- 
tunity, answers their purpose. Like those in the Eastern section, they 
will also rob you, whenever they are satisfijed, that they have the prepon- 


derance of power, and that there is no probability of chastisement, froHj 
any other source. 

The most numerous and important tribes, of the Western section, are the 
Shatshct, Squamish, Toando, Chahims, Classet, Chenook, Chitsop,Klackr 
amus, Klackatats, Kallapuyas, Umpquas, Killamucks, Rogues, Klamets, 
Shasty and Celkilis tribes, which like all other tribes of the country, have, 
by many, been thought to be migratory, and wandering tribes, but this ap- 
pears not to be the case. They are always to be found within their own 
proper territories, sometimes passing and re-passing, however, from fish- 
ing to fishing, or from hunting ground to hunting ground ; yet, their usu- 
al haunts are very seldom, if ever, entirely abandoned. They all subsist 
almost entirely upon fish, which they are enabled to take in any abun- 
dance, and at any, and every season of the year. Some of them also 
hunt, but hunting appears to require too much active exertion, to comport 
with their inherent and hereditary indolence, therefore, as a means of 
livelihood, it is not very generally adopted. They generally live in small 
huts, constructed in the most simple, and artless manner imaginable. 
Uprights of about eight feet iji length are obtained, which are inserted 
about one foot into the greund, side by side, forn^.ing either a square or 
circular inclosure, of about ten feet in diameter. At the side of these up- 
rights, about two feet from the ground, and also about five feet from the 
ground, poles are placed horizontally, and attached by means of barks or 
withes to the uprights, when the v/alls are completed. The roof or cov- 
er, is of bark or branches and twigs of trees, which, thrown on in the 
roughest manner, completes these primitive, rude dwellings, of the Ore- 
gon aborigines. These Indians are of nmch service to tlie settlers, as 
they can be employed for a mere nominal compensation, to perform vari- 
ous kinds of labor, at many kinds of which, they are very expert, espec- 
ially paddling canoes, rowing boats, hunting and driving horses, and bear- 
ing dispatches. With the exception of those in tlie extreme northern 
and southern portions of the country, they are entirely Iriendly and in- 
offensive. Such is the character, particularly of those, in the immediate 
neighborhood of the different settlements, yet, it is true, that the settlers 
here, are not entirely free from the little pilferings, and low treachery, to 
which all Indians are, more or less addicted. They very seldom steal any 
thing but food and clothing, though tliey frequendy drive the horses of the 
settlers oft*, in order that they may be employed to find them, and this 
they do, in order to obtain food and clothing, as a reward for their servi- 
ces. The word friendly, is here used, in tl\e sense in which it is 
used upon a former page, signifying merely, that they will make no unpro- 
voked attack upon your person, o.r tliat they will not kill you ; but not 
that they will not steal, for stealing appears to be an inborn vice, to which 
all barbarous Indians, are habitually addicted. The statement, which I 
have seen in several of our western papers, in reference to the burning 
of Dr. Whitman's mill, by the Indians, as an act of Avar or hostility, is 
entirely unfounded. The burning of this mill, occurred while I was in 
that country, and it was wholly nccidental ; no fiudt or design whatever, 
was attributed to the Indians. It is also reported, that all the various 
tribes in the neighborhood of the settlements, are combining, for the pur- 
pose of making a simultaneous attack, upon the settlers. This report ]fi 
also, without foundation, for that unanimity of feeling does not exist 
among them, which would be indispensable to such a combination. But 


it they were hostile, and should combine, for warlike purposes, still, no 
danger whatever, would be apprehendetl from them, for they have neither 
the means, nor courage, to enable them to prosecute an elBcient warfare. 
A civil organization has recently taken place in Oregon, and an infant 
republic is now, in full operation. Several attempts had been made to 
effect an organization, prior to the spring of 1843, but they had all proved 
ineffectual. The present organization took place, in the spring of 1843, 
in accordance with the expressed wishes, of a great majority of all the 
settlers. An election was held, during the same spring, when the various 
officers, such as members of the legislature, a supreme judge, justices of 
the peace, sheriffs, constables, a treasurer, a secretary, and the different 
prothonotaries, were elected. No executive was elected, consequently, 
the government must, of course, prove very inefficacious ; though it was 
designed merely, as a substitute for a government, until the United States 
shall afford them a government, more enlarged, and more effective ; to 
which event, the people of Oregon look forward, with a deep, and abiding 
interest. The legislature convened in the month of May 1843, at which 
time, it adopted the statute laws of Iowa, with such alterations and 
amendments, as local circumstances, seemed to require. Neitlier the offi- 
cers of the Hudson'sBayCompany, nor any persons in the service of that 
company, took any part in this governmental organization, nor did many 
of the Canadians or half-breeds, who had formerly been engaged in the 
service of that company. The reason assigned by the gentlemen of that 
company, for the neutral course which they pursued, was that they were 
British subjects, and hence, amenable to the laws of that government, 
which were already extended to that country, and in full force; therefore, 
whatever necessity might exist, on the part of American citizens, to en- 
act a temporary code of laws, no such necessity existed on the part of 
British subjects. Those gentlemen, no doubt, pursued tlie proper course, 
in reference to their duty, as Hritish subjects, ibr it is strictly true, that by 
an act of parliament, the jurisdiction and laws of Upper Canada, are ex- 
tended over all that country, occupied by t])e British fur traders, whether 
such country is owned, or claimed by the Britisii government. In accor- 
dance with this law, several gentlemen of the Hudson's BayCompany 
were appointed, and now officiate, as justices of peace; having juris- 
diction of all civil matters of controversy^ where the amount claimed, does 
not exceed two hundred pounds steriing. The jurisdiction of these jus- 
tices, in criminal cases, only extend to the examination of those who 
stand charged with the commission of criminal offences ; against whom, 
if sufficient evidence is found, they are sent to Upper Canada, for final trial. 
This jurisdiction docs not extend, as some have supposed, to the citizens 
of the United States ; but, as is tims seen, there are two distinct forms 
of government, now established in Oregon, which will most likely, con- 
flict, and thereby, produce serious consequences, if they are long con- 

Great Britain, then, has already done, by actual legislation, what our gov- 
ernment seems willing to concede, that we have no right to do, under'' the 
existing circumstances. Although Great Britain, has already extended the 
jurisdiction and laws of Canada, over that country, when it is proposed 
to extend the jurisdiction and laws of Iowa, over the same country ; or 
I in any other manner to establish a government there ; it is insisted that 
! the government of the United States, has not the right. It is claimed by 


the United States ; that Oregon territory belongs to her alone, and that / 
Great Britain, has no right whatever, to any part of it, upon any recogniz- 
ed principle, of the laws of nations. Now if this is true, may not our 
government, extend its jurisdiction over that country, and that too, in 
any manner which she may deem proper? But, it is remarked, that by 
the treaty of London, the stipulations of the treaty of Ghent, are indefi- 
nitely extended, which gives British subjects, the same right to settle, and 
trade in Oregon, as citizens of the United States have ; that is true, but 
how does this permission, destroy the right of this government, to extend 
its jurisdiction and laws over its own territory'^ Admitting however, 
tliat it is doubtful whether the country, in fact, all belongs to the United 
States, as the question of title is yet unsettled, still, have not the United 
States, the same authority, the same right, to extend their jurisdiction and 
laws over that territory, that Great Britain has, to extend her jurisdiction 
and laws over the same country ? In any view of this subject, it is not 
only clear, that this government has the right to extend its jurisdiction 
over that country, in any manner that it may think expedient, but also, 
that it is its duty to do so; a duty which it owes to its own interests ; its 
own security ; and above all, to its own, thus far, neglected citizens, in 
that wild and perilous land, of doubtful and heterogeneous jurisdictions. 
The market, trade and commerce, of this infant country, are even now, 
much more extensive than the most prophetic, could possibly have fore- 
seen. An ample market is now atlbrded, in the country, and at the very 
doors of the farmers, for all their surplus produce. The Hudson's Bay 
Company has certain arrangements, by which, it is enabled to take the 
products of the country, at the highest prices, even at the doors of 
the farmers, which, is a very great convenience to the farmer, as 
well us a great saving of time and expense. The American merchants, 
also afibrd an additional market, for the wheat and the various other pro- 
ductions of the country ; all of which, as well as labor of all kinds, bear 
a very good price. Wheat is worth from sixty cents to one dollar per 
bushel, flour from four to five dollars per barrel ; potatoes from twenty 
five to fifty cents per bushel; beans from seventy -five cents, to one dollar ; 
oats from twenty five to fifty cents ; beef from four to eight cents per pound ; 
pork from five to ten cents ; fresh salmon from one to four cents ; salted 
salmon from four to six cents, or from eight to twelve dollars per barrel ; 
butter from twenty to thirty f-ents per pound ; and all things else, in the 
same proportion. Labor " of ordinary hands is worth from one to two 
dollars per day ; that of mechanics, from two to four dollars ; and that of 
Indians, from twenty five, to fifty cents per day. All kinds of dry goods 
and groceries, are generally, alTorded here, as cheap as they are in any 
of our western states; especially, by the Hudson's Bay Company, the 
merchants of which, very much undersell those of the United States. 
This may be attributed to the fiict, that this company, ships its annual 
supplies of goods, directly from England, free of duty, which enables it 
to sell at prices much lower, than those of the American merchants ; 
hence it is, that almost the entire trade of Oregon, is as yet, confined to 
that vastly wealthy company. No unfairness, however, can be attributed 
to the company in this respect, for its course of dealing is the most hon- 
orable and commendable ; but this result is the natural consequence, of 
guch an unequal competition. We see that English merchants, sus* 
tain themselves, with much success, in competition with our merchants 


in the States, norwithstanding the high duties imposed upon many of 
their imports; to remove these duties then, as in Oregon, must necessa- 
rily, give the English merchant, for many years to come, a decided pre- 
ponderance in trade. 

The chief trade of Oregon, as yet, is the fur trade, which is almost 
entirely, monopolized by that company. This trade, however profitable 
it may formerly have been, and although it is still very lucrative, yet, it 
is rapidly decreasing, owing to the great decrease of the fur-bearing ani- 
mals, which was alluded to^upon a former page.* The peltries annually 
collected in Oregon, by this company are, at this time, estimated at about 
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which, however, is far less, than 
the returns of former years. The trade in grain and lumber, is also, 
chiefly confined to this company, which ships the former, in large quanti- 
ties to Sitka under a contract with the Russians ; and the latter, in very 
great quantities, to the Sandwich Islands, where it is sold for about forty 
dollars per thousand. The staples of this country, will eventually, be 
grain, pork, beef, hides, tallow, fish, wool, lumber and coal, all of which, 
may be produced, in abundance, for exportation ; and the Russian settle- 
ments, China and the various islands of the Pacific, will undoubtedly, 
forever afford, an ample market, for all its surplus productions. For 
many years to come, however, the continued, and increasing emigration 
will afTord a hom.^ ir/arket, at least, for most of the grain, vegetables, 
pork, beef and lumber, which the country will produce. Such is now, 
the case ; the emigrants annually purchase most of the provisions, as well 
as cattle, horses, hogs, sheep and lumber, of which the former settlers 
wish to dispose. This country possesses a very decided advantange, over 
all the other newly settled countries, of the United States, from its prox- 
imity to the Sandwich Islands, which afford an extensive market, at which 
all its surplus productions, are readily, exchangad, for the various tropical 
productions. This country also possesses many commercial advantages, 
much superior, to those possessed generally, by other newly settled coun- 
tries of the States. Its commercial advantages, as before remarked, are 
tolerably extensive in the northern part, although they are rather incon- 
siderable, in the immediate vicinity of the settlements, and in the southern 
portion ; yet its commerce is, at this time, tolerably extensive. There 
are frequent annual arrivals, at all the different accessible ports, from 
the Russian settlements, the Sandwich islands, California, the United 
States and England. In all, there are eight or ten vessels, engaged in 
the Oregon trade, of which, the company has five, measuring from two 
to seven hundred tuns. They are all engaged, the greater part of the 
year, in importing goods from England, and exporting wheat, furs, fish 
and timber in return. One of these ships arrives every spring, with a 
stock of goods, designed to supply the different trading posts, which hav- 
ing been disposed of in that manner, a cargo of lumber is taken to the 
Sandwich Islands, or a cargo of goods and flour to Sitka or Kam- 
schatka. Having disposed of their freight, at the places last mentioned, 
these vessels return to Vancouver, in the latter part of the summer, where 
tlie furs, collected during the previous year, are shipped for England. 
These vessels, although designed merely, to carry on trade between the 
places above mentioned, are all well armed with cutlasses, muskets and 
cannons. Besides these, the company also, has a steam-vessel, which is 
well armed, and which plies along the coast, and in the inlets and bays, 


northward from the Columbia. There are also four or five American 
vessels, which touch annually, at the different ports of Oregon, by the 
way of the Sandwich Islands. They usually, arrive in the spring and 
autumn, bringing goods, and receiving hides, tallow, furs, wheat and fish 
in return. Besides the merchant vessels, which trade in the Pacific, 
there are numerous whale-ships, and ships of war, which cruise in the 
north Pacific, but which, however, very seldom touch at any of the ports 
in this country. It is believed, that the foregoing will give a view suffi- 
ciently enlarged, for the*purposes, for which =this little work was designed, 
cf the present, and at least, a faint prelude, of the future, agricultural and 
commercial advantages of Oregon. 



Preparations to visit California; party organized, with that view. Places of 
rendezvous; emigrants convened at; number of Number of armed men. 
Departure from rendezvous. Arrival a,t Rogue^s river ; crossing of Has- 
tile movements of Indians. Leaving Rogue s river. Meeting of a. Cali- 
fornia party ; encamped, with. A discussio7i ; serious consequences of 
Left without a guide. A separation; serious effects of. Meditations in- 
terrupted. A chase. A defeat. Arrival at iliasiy river. An attack. A 
man wounded. Leaving the Chasly. Ariival at the Sacramento. A hat- 
tie. Twenty Indians killed.. Lamentation, and howling over the dead. 
Contemplated reneical of attack ; abandonment of Leaving the *' scene of 
blood.'" Loss of two men; their arrival in the settlements. Arrival at 
Neic IMvelia. Hospitality of Capt. Sutter. Kindness of all the foreign- 
ers. Party much delighled with the country. Determination to make 
California^ a future hom.e. 

Having remained in Oregon, as long as I had originally designed, I 
now, proceeded to make preliminary arrangements, for an over land tour 
to California, to visit which country, was also among my original pur- 
poses. But traveling from Or(^gon to California, like traveling from the 
States to Oregon, is attended with imminent danger, from innumerable 
hostile Indians ; hrnce it became necessary to obtain a party' of armed 
men, sufficient in numbers, to secure our protection. I, therefore, visited 
the different neighborhoods, with that view, when I soon found, that there 
would be no difficulty in obtaining a party, ample in numbers, to insure 
our entire safety. Upon designating a place of rendezvous, on the Wal-. 
lammette river, about twenty miles above the falls, we soon had fifty-three 
emigrants, of whom, twenty-five were armed men, when myself having 
been again honored with command, on the 30th day of May, 1843, we 
were outward-bound for the second and last paradise of the west, California. 
As the presumption is, that many of the Oregon emigrants will, eventually, 
emigrate to California, and that too, by the same route which I traveled; 

I have deemed it proper, to give some of the principal scenes and incidents, 
of this party of California emigrants. This I do, in order to put the fu 

ure emigrants upon their guard, and thereby, to enable them, to avoid the 


inntimerable dangers and difficulties, which we encountered, and of whicfi, 
we were wholly unadvised. 

Leaving our place of rendezvous, as above stated, nothing of importance 
occurred, until we arrived at Rogue's river, which we were under the 
necessity of crossing, by the aid of the Indians, who soon appeared with 
their canoes, and proffered their aid, which we were under the necessity 
of accepting ; but we proceeded with the utmost caution, for as we were 
well advised, several parties had been robbed at this place, under quite 
similar circumstances. In view of the peculiarity of our perilous situa- 
tion, I directed twelve men to cross the river, in advance, in order to re- 
ceive and guard the baggage, as it should be sent across. The residue 
of the men, remained, in order to protect the women and children, and to 
guard the horses and baggage, previous to their being sent across. Dur- 
ing all the time, which was occupied in crossing the river, great numbers 
of Indians thronged around us, on each side of the river, frequently rush- 
ing upon us, in such a manner, that it became necessary for us to draw 
our forces out, in battle array, against them, when we were under the 
necessity, of discharging a gun or two occasionally, in the open air, in 
order to deter them from any further hostile movements. Upon dis- 
charging a gun, they would, invariably, fall back, and flee in every di- 
rection-, with the greatest confusion ; but after the lapse of a very few min- 
utes, they would again, crowd and huddle around us, in increased numbers, 
when we would again dispel them as before. Their object m crowding 
upon us, in this manner, was to intermingle Vv^ith our people, to such an ex- 
tent, as to produce general confusion and disorder, when they designed to steal 
and plunder; and if they could produce disorder and tumult, to the extent 
that they desired, they, no doubt, intended to make a direct attack upon 
us, not only with the view of stealing and robbing, but also, with a deter- 
mination to effect our indiscriminate extermination. By the above system 
of caution, however, we finally, succeeded in crossing the river, in perfect 
safety, and were enabled to leave them, to enjoy the wild bowlings of 
their timid confusion, without the loss to ourselves, of either life or 
property. Upon emerging from the boisterous confusion, of these more 
than barbarous beings, we continued our journey, for several days, with- 
out any thing worthy of remark, until we met a company of cattle drovers 
and emigrants, who were on their way from California to Oregon, the 
former, with cattle for the Oregon market, and the latter, designing to 
locate in Oregon, where they hoped to find refuge, from the oppression, 
which they had suffered, in California, of which I shall speak more fully 

Upon meeting this party, both parties immediately encamped, where 
we remained together, all that day and night, as well as a part of the en- 
suing day, which time was spent, in discussing the comparative advan- 
tages, and disadvantages, of our respective places of destination. We, of 
course, had nothing very favorable to say of Oregon, for we were then in 
search of a desirable place of abode, which in our view, could not be 
found in Oregon ; nor had they much to say in favor of California. 
They ail concurred in the opinion, that California was, beyond any doubt, 
one of the most delightful countries in the known world, both in point of 
mildness of climate, and fertility of soil ; but they remarked, that they had 
been seriously oppressed there, and that they would seek refuge, for the 


time beings in Oregon. This discussion terminated in very disastrous 
consequences to us ; for about one third of our party, was prevailed upon 
to return to Oregon. This reduced our number, of aimed men to six* 
teen, and that too, in a region where our full forces, were more than any 
where else required ; in a country where we were everywhere surrounded 
by a numerous and hostile foe; where our "sixteen" were, at anytime^ 
liable to be attacked by thousands of unrestrained, and barbarous Indians. 
But the most distressing circumstance, at this particular juncture, was, that 
our guide also left us, with a view of reluming to Oregon, contrary to 
our wishes, and repeated solicitations to remain. This left us, not only 
without a force sufficient for our future protection, but also, without any 
knowledge of the route, or any means of obtaining that knowledge; and 
also, without any knowledge of the haunts and prowess of the counties^ 
savages, with whom we were now everywhere surrounded. The time 
of our separation had now arrived, when we proceeded to take our leave, 
of these our friends of long standing, with whom we had traversed the 
great western prairies, immersed in doubt, and surrounded with fearful 
dangers innumerable ; and with whom, we had penetrated the deep, wild 
recesses of Oregon, amid the howls of beasts of prey, the yells of frantic 
savages, and desolation and death, in all their various and varied forms. 
We were sad, sad indeed, and gricA'ed too, even to the shedding of tears. 
Much did we regret the necessity, which impelled our separation, and as 
much, did ^ve dread the danger, attendant upon that separation ; but to ac- 
complish our purpose, we were determined, regardless of all consequences. 
So leaving our friends, we traveled on, silently and solemnly, contem- 
plating the cheerless past and the fearful future. 

As I moved on, in this mood of mind, a half or three quarters of a 
mile, in advance of the party, my meditations were interrupted by the 
sudden appearance of two Indians, who were in close pursuit of a fine 
fat cow, which had strayed from the party to which 1 have just alluded, 
I immediately gave chase to these intruders upon my solitude, without 
being observed by them, until I had approached within about thirty yards 
of them, when I fired upon them, but whether I wounded either of them, 
I could not ascertain ; but at all events, I so alarmed one of them, that he 
yelled most furiously, and with tremendous leaps, soon reached a deep 
ravine, which afforded him a secure retreat, as its banks were thickly 
studded, with willows. Turning to the other, I found him still in hot 
pursuit of his intended prey ; but as he saw that I had turned my atten- 
tion to him, he also fled with unusual rapidity, and took refuge with his 
comrade, among the same willows, near to which, I had no inclination 
to approach, as willows are thought by mountaineers to be "dangerous 
things." The party soon came up, and the cow very soon fell a victim 
to our returning appetites ; but we saw no more of our noble competitors. 
Perhaps the one was engaged, in some secluded place, extracting buck- 
shot, from the lower limbs of his fellow. As we continued our journey, 
we frequently saw the Indians, far upon the mountain's height, viewing 
us as we wound our serpentine way, through low, deep valleys, up high, 
towering hills, or over beautiful,expansive plains. Thus, remaining upon 
the extreme height of the surrounding mountains, they always kept their 
eyes fixed upon us, until we had encamped at night, when they would 
approach us, with a view of stealing or killing our horses. We, how- 
eveij met with no serious difliculty with the Indians, until we arrived at 


a small tributary of Rogue's river, called the Chasty river, where we en- 
camped, for the night. About midnight, we were attacked by them, the 
first indication that we had of which, was the cry, by one of the guards, 
of "Indians," "Indians," which soon brought the men "to arms," when a 
brisk, random fire commenced, in all directions from the camp, which 
soon dispelled our midnight assailants, not, however, until they had se- 
verely wounded one man and two horses. The man who was wounded, 
was a Mr. Bellamy, who happened to be posted as guard, at the most 
vulnerable part of the camp, and near the river. He was the guard who 
gave notice of the attack, which however, he did not do, until several 
arrows had been thrown. The first knowledge which he had, of the 
presence of the Indians, was the reception of an arrow in his back, which, 
I suppose, he thought to be "striking proof," "pointed evidence," of their 
presence, if not of their omnipresence. The arrow was immediately ex- 
tracted, but from the intensity of the pain, which it appeared to produce, 
it was feared, by some, that it would be attended with fatal consequences. 
In the morning, it was thought, from the increased pain, that in all proba- 
bility, the spinal marrow was affected, and hence, would be unsafe 
to move that day; but we determined to make the attempt, which we ac- 
cordingly did, and were happy to find, that it was not attended with seri- 
rious consequences. 

From this encampment, we now moved on, without any thing worthy 
of remark, until we arrived at the Sacramento river, in California, about 
one hundred and fifty miles above the bay of St. Francisco. Here, we 
were just on the point of encamping, when we were surprised by the 
sudden appearance, of several hundred Indians, who appeared to have 
been advised of our approach, and to have remained there, in ambush, 
with a view of attacking us, upon our arrival. Upon observing our pe- 
culiarly unfavorable position, I immediately altered my purpose, and di- 
rected four of the men, to take the women and children, as well as the 
horses, into the plains, and there remain. Myself, and the residue of the 
party, dismounted, and at the same time, turned our horses loose, which 
were also driven into the plains, while we held our position, for the pur- 
pose of receiving the enemy, whose numbers, during this time, had in- 
creased to about four hundred. They continued to advance, with most ter- 
rific and frantic yells, which together with their fiendish gestures, and de- 
moniac grins, too clearly indicated their hostile designs. They now, ra- 
pidly advanced, with increased yelling, gesticulating, and grinning, as 
though mere frantic gesticulations, wild noises, and demoniac grins, con- 
stituted irresistible weapons of warfare. They were now, within about 
thirty yards of us, and every moment seemed to indicate, nothing but an 
immediate attack, yet, as it was possible, that I might mistake their design, 
I paused for a few moments ; but every moment only confirmed our sus- 
picions ; every moment showed most conclusively, that they were prepa- 
ring for a desperate and death-like attack. Still, hoping to deter them, 
from their hostile purpose, I discharged a gun, in the open air, upon 
which, they all fell to the ground, while, at the same time, the chief was 
heard, haranguing them, at the top of his voice, while the men were 
everywhere seen, stringing their bows, and preparing for the charge. 
They were now rising, to make their deadly onset ; the arrows from their 
rear, were already falling thickly among, and around us ; there could be no 
further doubt, as to their designs, nor could there be any further delay ; 


we fired, and fourteen of them fell, victims to their own ignorance and 
insolence. The residue, now fled, in every direction, taking refuge behind 
trees, shrubs, and in ravines ; but they continued to throw their arrows, 
in increased numbers, and with increased violence, for about two hours, 
when finally, from some cause, their fury and violence were abated. Our 
men had, in the mean time, cut them off occasionally, as they would ven- 
ture to emerge, from their temporary hiding places. Their loss was about 
twenty killed, besides many, who were mortally wounded, and whom we 
saw, either crawling away, upon the ground, or being dragged away by 
their friends. 

Now finding, that they were inclined to abandon the contest, we pro- 
ceeded to make our arrangements, to join that portion of our party, 
which remained in the plains; but, as we commenced our march, they re- 
newed their charge, which they continued, until they arrived at the point, 
where the attack was made, and where the ground was still, strewed with 
the dead. Upon arriving at this place, and perceiving for the first time, 
that their companions in arms, were actually dead ; they commenced a 
most tremendous howling and yelling, which plainly indicated that this 
was the first knowledge, which they had, of the desolating ravages, that 
death had made in their ranks. This wf.s further evinced, from their 
throwing down their bows and arrows, and falling upon the dead bodies, 
of their companions, and their most piteous howling and lamentation, 
with which they now rent the air. They paid no further attention to us, 
but continued to howl and yell most furiously, falling upon their dead, 
and pulling and hauling them about, in every direction, evidently, so ut- 
terly confused, that they knew not what they did ; entirely insensible, of 
all surrounding circumstances. Perceiving their indisposition to molest 
us further, we now left them, when their bowlings and lamentations in- 
creased, to such an extent, that they were distinctly heard, at the distance 
of three miles. We traveled that evening, but about five or six miles, from 
the " field of battle," where we encamped with the strictest regard, to our 
successful defence, in case of an attack, which we had some grounds to 
anticipate. As fortune would have it, however, we were not attacked ; 
but upon examining the country, in the vicinity of our camp, we found 
that they had, during the night, approached within a few hundred rods of 
us, in increased numbers, and clearly, with the view of attacking us ; but 
upon perceiving our peculiarly favorable position, and profiting by the 
sore and deadly chastening, which they had, so recently received, they 
no doubt, thought it the part of prudence, if not of bravery, to abandon 
their dangerous enterprise. So concluding, they left us, and in the morn- 
ing, we left them, to enjoy their degraded solitude, sincerely hoping, 
never to be so unfortunate, as to meet again, any where this side of eter- 
nity ; and no doubt, they had as little anxiety, to renew our acquaintance. 

We, afterwards, neither met with them, nor any other hostile Indians, 
but continued our journey, without any serious difficulty or interruption, 
other than the loss, for the time being, of two of our men, who were lost, 
and absent from the party, for several days, without ammuniUon, and 
hence, without food ; but after having suffered extremely, both from hun- 
ger and thirst, they both arrived, on the fourth or fifth day, in the settle- 
ments of California. One of them arrived at Capt. Sutter's fort, on the 
Sacramento, and the other, at a farm about forty miles above that place, 
about the same time, that the main body of the party, arrived at the Sac- 


ramento, opposite New Helvetia. The whole company, received every 
possible attention, from all the foreigners in California, and especially, 
from Capt. Sutter, who rendered every one of the party, every assistance 
in his power ; and it really appeared, to afford him the greatest delight, 
to be thus enabled, to render important aid, to citizens of his former, 
adopted country. All those who went with me to California, as well as 
all other foreigners, who are residing there, are extremely delighted with 
the country; and determined to remain there, and make California the 
future home, not only of themselves, but also, of all their friends, and rel- 
atives, upon whom, they can possibly prevail, to exchange the sterile hills, 
bleak mountains, chilling winds, and piercing cold, of their native lands, 
for the deep, rich and productive soil, and uniform, mild and delightful 
climate, of this unparalleled region. This delightful country, will form 
the subject of several successive chapters, which it is believed, will fully 
show, that the casual allusions, heretofore made to this country, are, by 
no means, mere, gratuitous exaggerations. 



Upper California, alone treated of; its situation ; its boundaries ; its super- 
ficies; itsnatural divisions . Mountains ; description of. Cordilleras moun- 
tains; their course; their distance from the sea; their altitude; their passcf>; 
their spurs. California mmmtains; course of ; distance from the sea; eleva- 
tion of ; their parses. Klamet mountains ; their course; their elevation ; 
their spurs ; their pass. Mountain spurs ; description of. Three hides ; 
conic formation of. Percullar position of California. Rivers ; descrip- 
tion of Colorado; its source ; its course; length of ; navigableness of ; 
tributaries of Sacramento ; importance of; its source ; its course ; its 
navigableness. Dry river; its peculiarities. Subterfuent streams. Feather 
river ; its 7iame, from what derived. The American fork. Tulare riv- 
er ; third in importance. Russian river. Klamet river. Bear river. 
The Salt lake. Rise of rivers. Islands ; deso^ipiion of St. Catalina. 
Santa Cruz. St. Clement. Face of the country ; of thp Western sec- 
tion ; the East eim section. Bays and harbors. Bay of St. Francisco. 
Bay of St. JJeigo. Bay of Monterey. Bay of Bodaga. Ba.y of Colora- 
do. Commercial advantage of California. 

Having conducted the reader to California, I will now proceed to give 
a brief description, of tliat highly important country, which is latterly, so 
justly attracting the attention, of the various civilized powers of the 
world. From the extremely narrow limits of this small work, I am 
compelled, to confine my remarks, entirely to Upper California, notwith- 
standing, both Upper, and Lower California, are properly, and naturally 
united, and have always been, so considered, for governmental, and other 
purposes ; but to treat of both those countries, would extend this des- 
cription, far beyond, either of my original or present purpose ; I shall, 
therefore, content myself, with giving a description of the former alone. 
The former, is selected in preference to the latter, because of its greater 


extent, both of territory and of population ; and because of its being that 
portion of the Californias, to which, the attention, not only of the enter- 
prising emigrants, but also, that of the avaricious and jealous powers, 
of the civilized world, are now being turned, with high liopes, either of 
its present, or ultimate acquisition. 

Upper California is a Mexican province or state, situated on the Pa- 
cific oVean, between the forty-second, and thirty-second parallels of north 
latitude. It is bounded on the east, by the Cordilleras mountains, which 
are a continuation, of the Rocky mountain range ; on the south, by So- 
nora, the gulf of California, and Lower California ; on the west, by the 
Pacific ocean ; and on the narth, by Oregon, or the forty-second parallel, 
of north latitude. It is six hundred miles in extent, from north to south, 
and about eight hundred miles, from east to west ; having a superficies of 
about 480,000 square miles ; more than four times as large as Great 
Britain ; twice as large as France ; and equal to twelve states, as large as 
that of Ohio. It is naturally divided, into two great sections or divisions, 
by the California mountains, which together with the Cordilleras, and 
the Klamet mountains, constitute the only mountain ranges, of tliis coun- 
try. The Cordilleras mountains run very nearly north and south, the 
whole extent of the country, ranging generally, from six hundred, to a 
thousand miles from the coast. Like the Rocky mountains, in Oregon, 
they are generally covered perpetually with snow. This range is, also, 
of extraordinary altitude, and has many, very elevated peaks, which are 
from ten to twenty thousand feet, above the level of the sea. Several 
eligible passes, or gaps, are also found, in this range, the most important 
of which, is that in the vicinity of Santa Fe, near the latitude 34° north. 
There is already very considerable passing and re-passing through this 
gap, which is no doubt, destined to increase, very much as the emigration 
increases to that country. The chief emigration will, however, undoubt- 
edly, always be through the great soutiiehi pass, near latitude 42° north, 
which was alluded to, in the descriplicn of Oregon. All this range is, for 
the most part, entirely sterile and unproductive, producing nothing but 
low shrubs of pine and cedar, the prickly-pear and wormwood ; amidst, 
and in the immediate vicinity, of the mountains, however, there are nu- 
merous small, but extremely, fertile valleys, as well as many elevated 
plains and prairies, which abound with vegetation. Upon, and in the vi- 
cinity, of the various streams, heading in this range, very good timber is 
also found, in sulficient quantities, for all ordinary purposes. 

The California mountains are a continuation of the Cascade, or Presi- 
dents' range, of Oregon ; their general course is also nearly north and 
south, ranging, usually, from two, to four hundred miles from the 
coast, and terminating near the head of the gulf of California, at latitude 32 
deg. north. This range is much less elevated, than the Cordilleras or 
Rocky mountains, yet, it has several very elevated po\iks, marry of which, 
are from ten to fourteen thousand feet, above the level of the sea. There 
are several very easy, natural passes, through this range also, the princi- 
pal of which, and that through which the chief emigration will eventual- 
ly pass, is near latitude 40 deg. north, through which, it is said, load- 
ed wagons may now, be driven, without serious interruption. There is 
also another, near latitude 38 deg. north, through which, the chief trade 
in the northern part of the country, has been carried on, as the more 


northern pass has not, until quite recently, been known. This pass at 
latitude 38 deg. north, affords a very elig-iblc route for wagons, but it will 
never become, as extensive a thoroughfare, as that at latitude 40 deg. north, 
•s that is in a direct route, fcom the great southern pass, in the Rocky 
mountains. But the pass near latitude 38 deg. north, is of the utmost 
importance, as it affords the means of intercommunication, between the 
two great sections, lying east and west of the California moimtains. Be- 
sides these two passes, this range has another also, near latitude 34 deo-. 
north, through which, the Santa Fe traders and others, annually pass, 
and which, not only connects the two great valleys, which lie on the easi 
and west sides of the California mountains, but it also affords a great 
thoroughfore, by which the southern emigrants, will eventually, travel 
by hundreds and thousands. The California mountains are much more 
fertile, than the Cordilleras or Rocky mountains, which is evidenced, by 
their being generally, covered with a great variety of vegetation, as Avell 
as by their affording, in many places, a great abundance of good timber. 
This range is also interspersed, with innumerable limited valleys, elevated 
plains and prairies, which abound with both vegetation and timber, of 
most luxuriant growth. The Klaniet range was described, in a former 
page, in the description of Oregon, as com.uiencing at the Rocky moun- 
tains, at latitude 42 deg. north, and running in a direction, west southwest 
to the coast, at latitude 4! deg. north. This range has numerous spurs, 
of small extent, which are usually covered with the grasses, and various 
other kinds of vegetation, as well as a growth of small timber, while the 
principal range is, generally, entirely sterile. It is also, thickly interspers- 
ed, with small, though extremely productive valh^ys, all of which, are 
well timbered, and well watered ; and like the Cascade range, it also has, 
several very high peaks, some of which are covered with perpetual snow. 
There is but one eligible pass in this range, which is found near latitude 
41 deg. 30 ooith, and longitude 117 deg. west from Greenwich, 
through which, wagons can be driven, with very little inconvenience. 
This pass is destined to become, of great importance, both to Oregon and 
California, in facilitating intercommunication and commerce, between the 
two countries. 

Besides these distinct ranges of mountains, there are several others, 
which, in many places, intersect the country in various directions, all of 
which, however, may be traced as spurs of the ranges before described. 
Some of them, and especially, those found between the California, and the 
Cordilleras or Rocky mountains, have been thought, by some, to consti- 
tute a distinct range; but, upon a more particular examination, they will 
be found to be mere spurs, of the ranges last mentioned. These, like the 
main ranges, to which they belong, also have high peaks, or elevations, 
many of which, rise considerable above the snow lin*^, which is here 
found to be, about seven thousand feet above the level of the sea. Here, 
as in Oregon, wherever you are, you are always in view of some of those 
extraordinary conical elevations, which are always covered w^ith snow, 
several thousand feet deep; but there are much fewer of them here, than 
in Oregon. Besides these snow-capped, conical elevations, there are sev- 
eral others, which are alike conical in form, but which, do not rise above 
the snow line. ' The highest and principal of these, are the three butes, 
as they are called, which are situated near latitude 39 deg. north, and 
about one hundred and fifty miles east, from the coasL They are conic 


in form, rising about five thousand feet above the level of the sea ; and be- 
ing entirely isolated, they serve as great land marks for the mountaineer, 
and emigrant. In a clear day, they are, frequently seen, at a distance of 
fifty or sixty miles^ by persons in the valley ; but by persons, upon the 
adjacent mountains, they are, not unfrequently seen, even eighty or nine^ 
ty miles. 

Here we cannot avoid observing some of the peculiarities, of this very 
extraordinary country. We find it almost enlirely walled in, by stupendous 
natural walls, which are perfectly impregnable and impassable, every- 
where, except at those natural gateways or gaps. These gaps appear to 
have been designed, by nature, to enhance the importance of this, other- 
wise important and valuable country, by affording easy intercommunicar 
tion, and facilitating trade and commerce, with all the surrounding coun- 
try. The great southern pass, in the Rocky mountains, near latitude 42 
deg. north, connects this country with the United States; that near latitude 
34 dcg. north, connects it with Texas; that near latitude 41 deg. 30 min. 
north, connects it with Oregon : and the three gaps in the CJalifornia 
mountains, connect the two great sections or valleys, at the most 
important points ; and thus, not only gives this country, ready and easy 
access to, and commerce with, the family of republics ; but also, render 
intercommunication easy, and transportation cheap, from one portion of 
the country to another. But these are not all the advantages, to be de- 
rived from the peculiarities of this country. These natural walls, which 
ahnostentirelyinclose the whole country, afford it perfect security against 
an invading foe, from those quarters. Nature, as if designing to ensure 
more perfect security to that countr}', has, in erecting the great walls, 
which inclose it, heaped mountains, upon mountains, whose heads, now 
mingle, with the clouds above ; but lest these even might not afford suffi- 
cient security, they are thickly, deeply covered, with perpetual snow, or 
eternal sand, either of which, is equally forbidding, to the approach of 
man or beast. 

Having given this brief description of the mountains, I will next notice 
the various rivers, the most important of which, is the Colorado of the 
west, or Green river. This great river is to California, wdiat the Col- 
umbia is to Oregon, the Mississippi to the United States, or the Amazon, 
to South America. It rises near latitude 43 deg. north, its head watei^s 
interlocking with those of the Platte; its general course is about south, 
southwest, to hs emboguing, at the Gulf of California, near latitude 32 
deg. north. Following its meanders, its length is about twelve hundred 
miles, about two thirds of which distance, its course is very serpentine, and 
much interrupted, by innumerable rapids, cascades and deep chasms or 
channels. Its vast torrents of water, rushing and lashing over the for- 
mer, foaming and dashing through the latter, make the very welkin ring, 
sending their misty spray in volumes to the clouds. As might be ex- 
pected, these repeated interruptions almost entirely destroy its navigation, 
for about eight hundred miles. The remainder of its distance is much 
less interrupted, but its navigation is also here seriously interrupted, with 
the exception of about one hundred miles, from its mouth, which are 
without interruption, and which are navigable for vessels of two hundred 
Ions burthen. The greater portion of this river from i.ts source, lies 
through a very broken, mountainous country, breaking through lofty 
mountains, pouring over high cliffs, down vast perpendicular cataracts, and 


into deep chasms, with perpehdicular basaltic walls, five hundred feet in 
height. The latter part of its distance, for four or five hundred miles, is 
through alternate rollino; hills, undulating- plains, and beautiful valleys 
and prairies. All the different tributaries, of the northern portion of this 
river, water an extremely mountainous, sterile, and entirely worthless re- 
gion, with the exception of the limited, though numerous valleys, which 
are interspersed among the mountains. But the various tributaries of the 
southern portion of this river, water many extensive plains, beautiful 
prairies, and fertile valleys. Its tributaries from the north, in the south- 
ern part, interlock with those of the Sacramento, and they water much 
the most extensive and fertile regions. The Colorado and its tributaries, 
water much of the northern portion, most of the southern, and all the 
eastern portion of Upper California. The tide sets up this river about 
one hundred miles, the extent to which it is navigable, and very much 
aids its navigation to that extent. Many portions of this river, its entire 
extent, will be found to be navigable for short distances, and although it 
will require repeated, and in many places, extensive portages, yet it will 
be found serviceable, for purposes of navigation, in all the different por- 
tions of the country, through which it passes. 

The Sacramento is the next river in importance, and although, it is a 
less stream than the Colorado, yet in many respects, it is even more im- 
portant than tJie Colorado, especially as it waters all of the most fertile, 
and expensive valleys of that country, and as it empties its vast torrents 
of water, into the great bay of St. Francisco. It rises in the California 
mountains, by two distinct heads, the one of which, is near latitude 41° 
north, and the other is near latitude 38° north. The course of the for- 
mer of these, to their coalluence, is south southwest, and that of the lat- 
ter, is west by north. Their junction, is near latitude 40° north, and 
near longitude 117° Vv^est, above which, in their course, they receive in- 
numerable small tributaries, both from the north and south, which swell 
their v/aters to immense volumes. From the junction of these branches, 
the general course of the ri\ er to its mouth, is south west, receiv- 
ing in its course, a river, which I shall cad Dry river, from the north, 
ajid Feather river, the Ajnorican fork, and the Tulare from the 
south. Its length is about eight hundred miles, following its meanders 
about three hundred miles of which, are navigable without interruption, 
for vessels and steamboats ; and it may be rendered navigable, to a much 
greater e:-ilent, with very little expense. By actual survey, it has been 
determined to be navigable for vessels of two hundred tons, about one hun- 
dred and fifty miles from its mouth. From the confluence of its two 
branches, to its mouth, it waters a vastly extensive, and fertile valley, 
while above that point, each of the branches pour their waters, alternate- 
ly over rapids, down cascades, through mountains ; and winding their way 
amid undulating plaines, roiling prairies, and fertile, thoughsmall valleys, 
they finally contribute largely, in forming the great Sacramento. The 
tide flows up this river, about one hundred and lifty miles, which adds 
much to its safe and convenient navigation. Dry river rises in the Kla- 
met range, near latitude 41° north, whence it runs southeast, about thirty 
miles, then forming a semi circle, it runs nearly parallel with the Sacra- 
mento, but in the opposite direction, when finally, it empties into that 
river, near latitude 40° north. Its length is about one hundred and forty 


miles, including its meanders ; it waters a large portion, of the great val- 
ley of the Sacramento, as well as several limited valleys, in the mountains, 
in which, it has its source. Some portions of the country, immediately 
upon this river, are entirely sterile, being mere beds of sand and gravel ; 
but they are comparatively, very small in extent. It is from the fact of its 
watering these sandy and dry sections, that I have deemed the name. Dry 
river appropriate. There are several other small streams, putting into the 
Sacramento, from the north, which also rise in the Klamet range, and 
enter the Sacramento, either by subterraneous mouths, or by percolation. 
There are others of these subterfluent streams, the waters of which, alter- 
nately sink below, and rise to the surface, all of which, enter into the Sac- 
ramento, or some lake, either at the surface, or through some cavernous 
entrance. There are many more of this kind of tributaries on the north, 
than on the south side of the Sacramento, and however extraordinary 
they may be, they are found to be most admirably adapted, to the pur- 
poses of irrigation. 

The first tributary of the Sacramento, on the south side, which I shall 
notice, is the Feather river, which also rises in the California mountains, 
near latitude 38° north. Running thence, in a direction nearly north- 
west, it pursues a very surpentine course, through a most fertile region of 
country, and finally empties into the Sacramento, at latitude 39° 01' 45" 
north. Its length is about two hundred miles, fifty or sixty miles of 
which, will be found to be navigable, for steamboats, of light draught, the 
greater part of the year. This river, together with its various small trib- 
utaries, waters one of the most fertile, and admirable regions, in Califor- 
nia. It takes its name from the fact, of its being a place of general resort, 
for the various feathered tribes, which are said to congregate upon its wa- 
ters, and in its immediate vicinity, in such immense numbers, that one 
person may, with very little difficulty, kill several hundreds in a very few 
hours. So numerous are they said to be, in fact, that, in their confused 
and conflicting bustling, they strew the earth with feathers for many miles 
up and down 'the stream, hence the Mexicans call it "rio de las Plumas," 
the river of Feathers. The next tributary of importance, on this side 
of the Sacramento, is the American fork, which rises in the California 
mountains, near latitude 37° north. Its general course is northwest, and 
its length about one hundred and fifty miles. It empties into the Sacra- 
mento at latitude 38° 46' 42" north, about one milea bove New Helvetia. 
This river also waters a large portion of the valley of the Sacramento, as 
well as a rich, productive region in the vicinity of the mountains, consist- 
ing of elevated plains, rolling hills, and small, rich valleys. The Ameri- 
can Fork, cannot be said to be navigable for any other crafts than canoes, 
boats and barges, and for those only during high water, though it is a most 
beautiful stream. 

There is one other tributary emptying into the Sacramento from the 
south, which I shall notice when I shall have done with the Sacramento 
and its tributaries. The tributary here alluded to, is called the Tulare, 
which is the second river in importance, in all the northern portion of the 
country, and the third river in all California It takes its rise in the Cal- 
ifornia mountains, near latitude 36° north, and its general course is nearly 
northwest to its mouth, where it empties into the Sacramento, a few 
miles above the entrance of that river, into the bay of St. Francisco. Its 
length is about four hundred miles, two hundred of which, are navigable 


in ordinary stages of water, for steam-boats of light draught, such for in- 
stance, as those which ply upon the Ohio and the Upper Mississippi rivers. 
This river also waters a vast extent, of the great California valley, as well 
as many rolling prairies, extensive plains, and that hilly and mountainous 
region, in which it takes its source. It also has numerous small tributa- 
ries, which water a great extent of fine, rich country, none of which, are 
of any importance for the purposes of navigation. Just below the conflux, 
of this river and the Sacramento, there is a large island, which is formed 
by the divergence and re-union of these rivers. This island is about four 
miles in length, and from its peculiar position, especially its contiguity to 
the mouths, of these great rivers, and the bay of St. Francisco, it will 
eventually, be found of great importance, although it is now considered 
entirely valueless. 

There are several other streams, which empty into the bay of St. Fran- 
cisco, both from the north and the south, none of which are navigable, 
but they are highly important, as they water all the country in the vicini- 
ty of that bay, which otherwise would be wholly worthless. There are 
also, several rivers of considerable importance, in the neighborhood of 
the coast, and which empty into the ocean, some of which, °are also, 
worthy of a brief notice. The principal of these is the Russian river, 
which has its source in the Klamet range, near latitude 41 deg. north, run- 
ning thence, in a direction, about west southwest, to the coast, where it 
empties, near latitude 38° 55' 42" north. Its length is estimated at two 
hundred and twenty miles, of which, sixty or seventy miles are suscepti- 
ble of steam boat navigation, the greater part of the residue, is navigable 
only for canoes and boats. The tide flows up this river about seventy 
miles which will very much, facilitate its navigation. An extremely 
mountainous and broken region, is watered by this river, yet there are 
several very extensive plains, as well as numerous small and fertile val- 
leys, upon the main river and its various tributaries. There is also another 
river, in this portion of the country, of which, however, I have had occa- 
sion to speak, upon a former page, in describing the rivers of Oregon. It 
is the Klamet river, for a further description of which, the reader is refer- 
red to the description before given. The only remaining river in the vi- 
cinity of the coast, which I deem worthy of notice, is that which empties 
into the bay of Monterey, near lititude 37S north. It has its source in the 
California mountains, near latitude 36* north, thence pursues a course, 
about west by north, through alternate rolling prairies, fertile plains and 
valleys. It is about one hundred and fifty miles in length, no part of which 
can be said to be navigable, for any other crafts than boats, barges and 
canoes. The flow of the tide extends up this stream, about twenty miles, 
though not in such manner, as to facilitate its navigation. 

The only river which remains to be noticed, is the great Bear river, 
which, although described as a river of Oregon, is properly, a river of 
California ; but as I have described it sufficiently upon a former page, I 
shall here give it mere passing notice. It heads near latitude 42° north, 
and pursues a course, nearly west by south, to the great Salt lake, into 
which it flows, near latitude 41° north. Its length is about two hundred 
miles, no part of which, can properly be said to be navigable, otherwise 
than for boats and canoes. A large portion of the country watered by 
this river, is extremely mountainous and sterile, but the Bear river valley, 
through which it lies, is a vastly extensive valley, and many portions of 


it, possess more than ordinary fertility and productiveness. This river, as 
well as its valleyjderives additional importance, from their proximity, to 
this great lake, which will, in the course of time, undoubtedly, become 
the nucleus of an extensive settlement, in the eastern section of both Or- 
egon and California. From the best information which I have been able 
to obtain, in relation to this lake, its northern extremity extends very 
nearly to latitude 42° north, but not beyond it, from which it appears, that 
it is situated entirely in California. It is about two hundred and forty 
miles long, and averages from forty to sixty miles in width. Its waters 
are much more highly impregnated with salt, than those of the ocean. 
The country contiguous to this lake, in each direction, is, generally, ste- 
rile, but the surrounding country, in its vicinity, is, usually rich, and highly 

The rise in the rivers of this country, like those of Oregon, is at differ- 
ent seasons of the year, in the different streams, depending upon the re- 
gions in which they have their sources. Those which rise in the Cali- 
fornia mountains, have their annual rise in the months of February and 
November. The rises are generally gradual, but they extend to a very 
great extent, rising very frequently, eighteen or twenty feet perpendicularly, 
and submerging much of the low country, in the vicinity of the mouths, 
of the different rivers, during the continuance of the high waters. The 
effect, of this inundation is, however, rather favorable than otherwise, as 
all those sections of the country, which have been thus overflowed, pro- 
duce a much more luxuriant growth of vegetation, than they would other- 
wise do, which continues perfectly green, presenting a large extent, of 
springly verdure, even in autumn, when the vegetation of most other por- 
tions, is dried and transformed, from tlie delightful green of May and 
June, to the natural hay of October. Hence it is, that these portions of 
the country, are here considered highly valuable, for the same reason, that 
similar portions of the country, are considered eritirely worthless, in Or- 
egon and elsewhere. In those rivers taking their rise in the Cordilleras 
or Rocky mountains, the overflow, takes place here, as in Oregon, during 
the months of May and June, of each year. The annual rises, of all the 
rivers of this country, are to be attributed to the same cause, as stated 
upon another page, in reference to the rise of the rivers of Oregon. The 
water of all these rivers, like that of those of Oregon, are i)erfectly 
transparent, and pure, so much so, in truth, that the bottoms of tlie rivers, 
are, not unfrequently, seen thirty or forty feet, beneath the surface of the 
water. They, from their extraordinary purity, possess very little or no 
fertilizing properties, hence the lands subject to their annual submersions, 
derive no additional fertility from them ; and hence, they are beneflted 
by the overflows, only by the accumulation of moisture, which liowever, 
in this arid region, is a very important consideration. 

There are but very few islands, in the immediate neighborhood of the 
coast, yet there are three, which may perhaps, be found worthy of a par- 
tial description. St. Catalina is the principal of them, which is ^^ituated 
about fifteen miles from the coast, and near latitude 33 degrees and 40 min, 
north. Its greatest length is about thirty miles, from east to west, and 
its width twelve miles, from north to south, giving an area of about three 
hundred and sixty miles. The next of these in importance, is Santa 
Cruz, which is about sixty miles north from St. Catalina, and nearly the 
same distance from the coast. Its length being twelve miles, and its width 


six miles; it has a superficies of seventy-two miles. The other island al- 
luded to, is St, Clement, which is still less in extent, than Santa Cruz, 
having; a surface only, of about twenty four square miles. All of these 
islands possess a most productive and fertile soil, but they, usually, pre- 
sent an extremely broken, and mountainous surface. They are all said 
to be most admirably adapted, both to the purposes of grazing and agri- 
culture. Abounding with game of various kinds, and especially the fur- 
bearing animals, they are places of theannual resort, of hunters and trap- 
pers. Each of these has an ample supply of good timber, and fresh 
water, as well as several very good and convenient harbors. These 
islands are, as yet, used merely as repositories of smuggled goods, for 
which purpose, they are most admirably suited, and extensively occupied, 
but they will, eventually, no doubt, be converted into most delightful, and 
admirable residences, for retiring Selkirks and bioken-down politicians. 

As the face of the country is merely alluded to, in the description of 
of the mountains and rivers, it may, perhaps, be advisable here to give a 
further description of the surface, of each section. The greater part of 
the Western section, consists of vastly extensive plains and valleys; but 
it also has many sections of high, rolling hills, and less elevated moun- 
tains, besides the •■nain ranges of mountains btfore described. The prin- 
cipal valley of this section is, the great valley of the Sacramento and its 
various tributaries: it extends from the base of the Klamet moun- 
tains, nearly to laditude 36 dcg north, and from an elevated range of 
country, upon the coast, entirely to the California mountains. This val- 
ley, although extending in each direction, as above stated, does not include 
ths entire country, within those limits, but it comprises much the greater 
part, of all that portion of country. Within the same portion of country, 
however, there are several ranges of high lands, consisting, in many 
places, of high sv/ells and hills, and in others, of elevated plains and 
rolling prairies. About two thirds of all the country, comprised within 
the above limits, is properly contained, in the valley of the Sacramento, 
and its tributaries, which is much the most fertile portion, of the same ex- 
tent, in all California. That portion of this valley, which lies immedi- 
ately upon the Sacramento river, extends from its mouth, at the bay of 
St. Francisco, to the base of the California mountains, a distance of about 
four hundred miles, and averages about thiity miles in width, on the north 
side, and about fifty miles on the south side. That portion of it, lying on 
the Tulare river, generally averages about twenty miles, on each 
side of the river, to the base of the California mountains, a distance of 
about three hundred miles, from its confluence with the Sacramento. Be- 
sides these great valleys, which constitute the greater portion, of what is 
called the Sacramento valley, there are various valleys, upon all the dif- 
ferent tributaries of the Sacramento, which also form part of that valley. 
All of these valleys possess a soil, which is scarcely paralleled, for fer- 
tility and productiveness, which, however, Avill more fully appear, from 
what will be said in reference to the soil, and productions. South of the 
Sacramento valley, there are also numerous valleys, of very considerable 
extent, both upon all the various smaller streams, which empty into the 
ocean, and the various tributaries of the Colorado of the west. All the 
valleys, in the southern portion of this section, are equally as fertile and 
productive, as those of the Sacramento. That portion, however, consists 


chiefly of plains and prairies, which are also very productive, covered 
with a great variety of vegetation, of extraordinary growth. 

The Eastern section also, has several very extensive valleys, the largest 
of which, are found upon the various tributaries of the Colorado, many 
of which, average from fifty to a thousand square miles in extent; 
but the valleys of this section, are comparatively small, though extremely 
fertile and productive. Through all portions of this section, there is 
a much greater proportior. of elevated and broken country, than in 
the Western section. High, rolling prairies, elevated plains, and moder- 
ately elevated, hilly regions, are found in all the various portions 
of this section, which yield the greatest variety of vegetation, of most lux- 
uriant growth. The valley of the great Bear river, which is also situa- 
ted in this section, is a valley of very considerable extent, and of more 
than ordinary fertility, but that portion of this great valley, in the imme- 
diate neighborhood of the great Salt lake, is entirely sterile and unpro- 
ductive, as is all that portion of the country contiguous to that lake. Upon 
the coast of the whole extent of Upper California, from north to south, 
there is an elevated range of country, consisting chiefly, of hills, high, 
rolling, broken prairies, and elevated plains. Both the Western and Eas- 
tern sections are, in many places, intersected in various directions, with 
spurs of the different ranges of mountains, and ranges of elevated, bro- 
ken and hilly country ; but much less of this kind of country, is found in 
the Western, than in the Eastern section. As to give a particular de- 
scription, of each portion of this country, would much transcend the lim- 
its of this work, and my original purpose, I shall leave this branch of the 
subject, and proceed to the consideration of those of more practical im- 

The bays and harbors next claim our attention, and that deserving of 
the first and principal notice, is the bay of St. Francisco, which is situated 
at latitude 38 deg. north, and extends about forty miles into the interior, 
in a direction about north, north east from its entrance. Its waters are 
securely confined within its bed, by an iron-bound coast, which is gene- 
rally composed of solid basaltic rock. The country adjacent to this bay, 
is a very broken and hilly region, but very fertile, producing oats, clover, 
and the like, with much profusion. The entrance of this bay, from the 
Pacific, is about one mile wide, upon each side of which, is a high ledge 
of basaltic rock, about tv^^o hundred feet, above the surface of the water. 
From these points, on each side of the entrance, the bay gradually ex- 
pands, to eight or ten miles, in extent, from north to south, and about 
twelve miles, from east to west. At the extreme eastern portion, of this 
bay, thus formed, its hilly and rocky banks gradually contract, so 
aS to leave a space, only of about two miles, between the rocky, 
hilly shores, which thus, forms a second entrance, into another bay, 
of greater extent, than that just described. At this entrance, the high, 
rolling, basaltic banks, again gradually diverge, about ten miles, when 
they again contract, leaving a space of about one mile between them, 
which is about eight miles from the entrance, last mentioned, and thus, 
another spacious bay is formed. A third and more extensive bay is 
formed in a similar manner, the eastern extremity of which, is about forty 
miles eastward, from the coast, where it receives the Sacramento. The 
bay last alluded to, is twelve miles in extent, from east to west, and about : 
fifteen from north to south, and like the others described, it affords the 


most extensive and secure anchorage. From this description of the great 
bay of St. Francisco, it is seen, that instead of one bajs there are three 
vastly extensive bays, which, however, are all connected, formin'.r the 
bay of St. Francisco. There are several small islands in this bay, the 
largest of which, is situated on the north side of the first bay. within full 
view of the entrance, from the ocean. It is about five miles Icno- and 
three in width, and has a very rough and broken surface, which is cover- 
ed here and there with timber, of a small growth, and an abundance of 
vegetation. • It is admirably suited to the purposes of grazing, as it not 
only produces the various grasses, and oats and clover, in great profusioD 
but also, a great abundance of good fresh water. Large herds of fine 
cattle, are now, kept upon it, by a Spaniard, who resides in the lower part 
of the country. 

The next large island alluded to, is located on the south side of the 
same bay, fronting the town of Yerba Buena. It is also depastured, but 
by herds of wild goats, which have been placed upon it, by 'a foreigner, 
who resides at Yerba Euena. Besides these islands, there are several 
others in this bay, which appear to be composed entirely of basaltic rock, 
and hence, produce no kind of vegetation, but are ploces of resort for the 
innumerable fowls of prey, which abound in that region. One of these 
rocky islands, is situated directly in front of the entrance,.from the ocean, 
and is about one fourth of a mile in diameter. The contiguity of this 
island to the entrance, and its immediate opposition to that point, renders 
it very important, as a few guns planted upon it, and well manned, would 
with al! ease, perfectly command^ the entrance. But facilities for com- 
manding this entrance, are not wanting, for a few guns upon either side 
of it, would sink a whole fleet, that should attempt a hostile ingression. 
Outside of this bay, also, and within a few miles of the entrance, is another 
vast rocky island, rearing its ancient and majestic head, several hundred 
feet above the lashing surf, and roaring billows below, as if designed by 
nature, to point out the entrance, into that great bay of bays, "a more 
admirable and advantageous position, for a light-house, can scarcely be 
conceived of, and there is but little doubt, but that those who visit St 
Francisco, two year hence, instead of seeing a massivo, dark rock looking 
out upon the mighty deep, at the mouth of that bay, they will there be- 
hold, a brilliant luminary of the ocean. From what has already been 
I said, it must be apparent to all, that there are few bays, if any, in any 
I part of the world, which surpass this, for security of harbor, and extent 
I of anchorage. It has been well said, that ''in this bay, all the fleets and 
, navies of the whole world, could ride, in perfect safety." This bay alone, 
I would answer all the commercial purposes of California, in all time to 
come. There is ample water at the entrance, for vessels of the largest 
class, whether during the ebb or flow of the tide, which, in this bay, rises 
about eighteen feet perpendicular. All things being considered, I am of 
the opinion, that a harbor can not be found, equal in all respects, to that 
of the bay of St. Francisco. It is of the greatest importance, not only to 
• California, but also to all commercial governments of the world, whose 
ships of war, merchant ships, or whalers, cruise in the Pacific, as it aflx)rds 
them the most extensive anchorage, and secure harbor, which is sur- 
rounded by one of the most fertile countries, in the known world, where 
all necessary ship supplies, may be obtained, in any abundance, and upon 
, the most favorable terms. 


The bay of Monterey is the next in importance, but iis chief importance 
is deriv':>d from its central, and otherwise peculiarly advantageous posi- 
tion, and not from its extent of anchorage, or security of harbor. It is 
situated at latitude 37 deg. north, and is about twenty miles in extent, and 
semicircular in form, afibrding tolerably extensive anchorage, and secure 
harbor against all winds, excepting those from the west, and north east which 
drive almost directly into the bay, rendering the harbor very insecure, as 
against those winds. As an evidence of this fact, a vessel was stranded there, 
a few years since, and the v/reck now lies upon the beach, within a few 
hundred yards, of the ordinary anchorage. I was informed that the cap- 
tain of this vessel, finding a wreck inevitable, headed directly upon the 
beach, under full sail, which, of course, had a tendency to decide the 
matter as to a wreck, as well as to produce some rather unpleasant con- 
cussions. In this bay, as in St. Francisco, the tide rises about eighteen 
feet, and there is also ample water, at the entrance of this bay, as at that, 
for the reception of vessels of any class, either during the ebb or flow of 
the tide. The entrance is also, very easily commanded, but it is by no 
means as advantageously situated in that respect, as that of the bay of St. 
Francisco. It is th;j opinion, however, of many, that the entrance of this 
bay, c;ni be as effectually fortified, as that of any other, with the appro- 
priate exptiise. The chief importance attached to this bay is derived 
from the fact, of its being contiguous to the seat of government, which will 
undoubtedly be the case, until there shall be some enlargement of the state, 
either upon the north or the south. The bay of St Dipgo is also, a bay 
of very consideraLdi:- extent, wliich is sitmued near latitude 33 deg. north, 
aflibrding very commodious, and safe anchorage. It is about twenty miles 
in extent, from its euirance to its extreme eastern portion, and it afihrds 
extensive anchorage, and safe harbor, against all winds, excepting those 
blowing from the soutii, and the southwest. This bay is also vastly im- 
portani^ from its loc il position, hfing in the extreme southern portion of 
the country, for widiout it, all that part of the country, would be entirely 
excluded, i-Vom all comraerci.ii advantages. Besides the principal bays 
here describtd, llifre are several others, which, however, are of much 
less importance, ihough perhaps, of suificieni importimce, to require a 
brief notice. (Jft' ese the.e are but two, which I shall notice, the one 
of which, is situated in ihr' extreme northern, and the other in the extreme 
southern po)tion, of the country, the former is called Badago, and the 
latter Colorado. Bodago is near latitude 40 deg north, and is about ' 
twelve miles in extent, but the entrance is rather difficult, and the an- 
chorage unsafe, and, at times, dangerous in the extreme. This bay, how- 
ever, Too-ether with the harbor, formed at the mouth of the Klamet river, 
before d'escribed, will afford ample commercial facilities, for the extreme 
northern portion. The Colorado is situated at the mouth of the Colora- 
do of the west, near latitude 32 deg north: it is very spacious, affording 
extensive and secure anchorage, for ships of any class, shekering them, 
perfectly, against all winds, excepting those which blow directly from the 
south. This gives a brief view, of the facilities for extensive commerce, 
in Upper California, which are seldom, if ever, surpassed. 



%i7 of the Western section ; variety of; fertility of. Prevailiufr rock. Pw>- 
' portion of cultivable and pasturable lands. Soil of fJastern section ; com- 
parative fertility of Variety of rock. Proportion ofarahle and grazitig 
lands. Mineral resources. Climate of the Western section. Mean tern- 
perature. Mildness and uniformity ; causes of. Comparative differmc^ 
'of temperature., on the east and west sides of the Rocky mountainn. GreaJ, 
Tariety of temperature. The rainy sea.son. Dry seasons. Climate of 
jEastern section ; less uyiiform. Great e.rcess of heat and cold. Health, 
Absence of all febrifacient causes. Pecidiar adaptation to the prow^otion 
(if health. Productions of the II e.^te>-n section. Indigenous productions. 
\\mber ; variety of Oats, clover, fia..v and hemp ; hLvun'ani g-rotcth of. 
Cidtivated productions. Seven-headed, uheat. The extraordinary pro- 
duct of whecU. Time of sowing and harvesting. Corn ; yield of ; time 
of planting. Growing of cotton, rice and cane ; adaptation of the soil 
wid climate to. Vegetables; when planted and gathered. Fruits; rari- 
eiyof. Pivductions of the Eastern section ; spontaneous and cidtivated. 

The soil is extremely varied, not only in the two sections, but also in tb« 
different portions of each section ; the hills and mountains b'.ing entirely 
sterile, and valleys and phnns extreintdy fertile. 'Hiat of the valleys is 
vastly rich and productive, so much so in fact, that I think, I venture nothing; 
when I say, that it is not only not 5.irpass--d, but that it is not even equaP 
ed. The deep, rich, alluvial soil of the Nile, in Egypt, does not afford a 
parallel. Remarks like these, I am aware, are apt to be considered as 
mere gratuitous assumptions ; but t5 ascertain how far they are sustained 
by fact, the reader is referred to the sequel, especially that pait of it, which 
treats of the productions, which it is believed, will not only convince him 
of their truth, but may. perhaps, induce him to indulge in assumptions 
and speculations, even more enlarged. The soil of the various valleys 
of the Western section, varies from a rich, alluvial, to a deep, black, 
vegetable loam, upon strata of sand, gravel, clay or trap rock. That of 
the plains, is, principally, a deep, brown, vegetable loam, or decomposed 
basalt, with a substratum, of stiff clay, or gravel and sand. And that ol 
the hills, is chiefly, a brown, sandy loam, or a loose, gravelly soil. The 
mountains, and most of the more elevated hills, are generally entirely 
barren, and consist principally of primitive rocks, such as talcon slate, 
atid other argillaceous stone, with hornbhmdand granite. The less ele- 
vated hills consist, chiefly, of basalt, slate and marble. Gypsum and a 
kind of white clay, are also found, in many places; the latter of which, 
is very abundant, and which is used extensively by the inhabitants, for the 
purpose of whitewashing their dwelling houses, both externally and in- 
ternally. It is also used for the purpose of cleansing, as a substitute for 
spap, and for this purpose, it is found to be most admirably adapted. It 
may be estimated, that about two thirds, of all the Western section, are 
cultivable lands, and that three fourths of it, including the arable lands, 
axe pasturable lands, to each of which purposes, the whole section, to the 
e%ji£nU and in the proportions stated, is peculiarly suited. The remaining 
'' 10 


part, of this section, which is the extremely mountainous portion, is noted 
for us extraordmary barrenness and sterility. The soil of the valleys of 
^e Eastern section, is in all respects, similar to that of the valleys, of the 
Western section ; that of the plains is a deep brown loam, with a subsoil, 
of sand or clay; and that of the hills, is usually, a light, brown, vegetable 
earth, having a substratum of gravel, sand or clay. The mountains, and 
hills like those of the Western section, are for the most part, entirely 
sterile, yet as before remarked, there are many portions of the hills and 
mountains even, that are tolerably productive. There is a much greater 
variety of soil in this, than in the Western section ; in one day's ride, 
you may pass over every possible variety of soil, from the mosi fertile, to 
the most barren and unproductive. The mountains are, generally, com- 
posed of talcon slate, granite, hornblend and other primitive rock, and the 
hills are, principally, composed of marble, limestone, basalt and slate. The 
white clay before spoken of, is also found in this section, in great abun- 
(knce. The proportion of barren land, is much greater in this-, than hi 
the Western section. As nearly as I could ascertain, about one third, of 
the whole section, is susceptible of cultivation, while about two thirds, in- 
eluding the arable lands, are well suited to grazing purposes, and the re- 
maining third, for extraordinary unfruitfulness, and entire destitution, of 
all fecundity, can be surpassed, only by some portions of Oregon, which are 
seldom, if ever sui-passed. in worthlessness. 

^ The information which I was able to acquire, does not afford aie suf!h- 
dent data, upon which to predicate any very ac<iurate conclusions, in re^ 
erence to the mmeral resources of California ; but sufficient investio-ar 
tions have been made, to determine that many portions, of the mountain- 
ous regions, abound with several kinds of minerals, such as gold, silver 
iron, lead and coal, but to what extent, the extreme newness and un^ 
explored state of the country, utterly preclude all accurate determination 
It is, however, reported in the city of Mexico, that some Mexicans have, 
recently discovered a section of country, in the extreme interior of Cali- 
fornia, which affords ample evidences^ of the existence of both gold and 
silver ore, in greater or less quantities, for thirty leagues in extent. Sine© 
this report is so very extraordinary, and since it originated as above stated, 
the safest course would be, .to believe but about half of it, and then per- 
haps, we should believe too much. Dr. Sandels, a very able mimnalo- 
gist, who had for some time been employed in his profession, by the gov- 
ernment of Mexico, spent four or five months, in mineralogical investiga- 
tion, in upper California. It was from this gentleman, that the ab«>ve In- 
formation was derived, hence it is entitled to implicit reliance. 

The climate of the Western section, is that of perpetual spring, having- 
no excess of heat or cold, it is the most uniform and delightful. The 
mean temperature, during the year, is about 61° Fahrenheit; that o{ the 
spring is GG'^; -that of the summer 70^^ ; that of the autumn 67« ; and 
of tlie winter is 61« Fahrenheit. The mean temperature of the warmest 
month is 74«, and that of the coldest month, is 48° Fahrenheit. This 
statement is not designed to apply to the entire Western section, for in 
tlie extreme northern portion, it is rather colder than would appear from 
this, whiie in the extreme southern portion, it is r*ther warmer. It is ap- 
plicable particularly, to the latitude of 37*' north, though very little difference 
will be found, in all the various portions of this section, which will be 
seen from the following statement. In the extreme northern portion, 



snow sometimes falls, but it very seldom lies more than two or three hours, 
always disappearing at the rising of the sun ; but even here, running wa- 
ter never freezes, nor does standing water ever freeze, thicker tlian com- 
mon window glass. In the southern portion, and even a« far north as 
latitude 38° north, snow, frost and ice are unknown. An equability of 
temperature is found, in all portions of this section, which very few por- 
tions of the world afford, none, perhaps, unless it be some portions of It- 
aly. In many portions of this section, immediately upon the coast, it is 
warmer in the winter season, than in the summer. This is attributable to 
the fact, of the winds blowing regularly from the north or northwest, du- 
ring the summer, and from the south, southwest or southeast, during the 
winter, which also accounts for the extraordinary mildness of the climate, 
during all seasons of the year. Compared with the climate, in the same 
latitude, on the east side of the Rocky mountains, the difference is almos-t 
incredible. It is milder on the Pacific coast, in latitude 42° north, than 
il is in 32° north on the Atlantic coast, being a difference of more than 
ten degrees of temperature, in the same latitude. No fires are required, 
at any season of the year, in parlors, offices or shops, hence fuel is never 
required, for any other than culinary purposes. Many kinds of vegeta- 
bles are planted, and gathered, at any and every season of the year, and 
of several kinds of grain, two crops are grown annually. Even in the 
months of December and January, vegetation is in full bloom, and all na- 
ture wears a most cheering, and enclivening aspect. It may be truly said 
of this country, that "December is as pleasant as May." The remarks 
here made, in reference to the mildness, and uniformity of the climate, 
are applicable only to the valleys and plains, for the mountains present 
hut one eternal winter. Hence it is seen, that you may here enjoy pe- 
rennial spring, or perpetual winter at your option. Yoa may in a very 
few days, at any season of tlie year, pass from regions of eternal verdure, 
to those of perpetual ice and snow, in doing which, you pass through al- 
most every possible variety of climate, from that of the temperate, to 
diat of the frigid zone. 

The rainy season is, generally, confined to the winter months, during 
which time, rains fall very frequently, though not incessantly. Daring 
all this season, the weather is alternately rainy and clear; one third, per- 
haps, of the whole season is rainy, and the residue is clear and delightful 
weather. The rainy season here, although it is confined to a portion of 
tihe same season of the year, as that in Oregon, yet it differs, in many re- 
spects, from the rainy season, in that country. There, the rains are al- 
most incessant, but slight, while here they are much less frequent, but 
pour down in torrents. The only rain, which falls in this country, is 
during the rainy season, during the residue of the year, scarcely a drop 
of rain ever falls ; but there have been a few instances of its falling, as 
late as April and May, though this is very seldom. In addition to the 
moisture accumulated by the earth, during the winter season, the vegeta- 
tion always receives additional moisture from the dews, during the sum- 
mer. It would seem that the inhabitants of a country, watered only by 
die rains of three months, and the dews of the residue of the year, must 
suffer intensely, from the effects of such continued drought, but such is 
not the case in this country. The extraordinary mildness of the climate, 
tQgether with the falling of the rains, causes the vegetation to put forth 
catiy in the month of December, and to mature in the spring, or very 


early in the summer. So it is of wheat, and other grains, being sown Ih 
November or December, they are matured in the spring, or early in the 
summer, and before they are affected by the droughi. In many portions 
of the country, the vegetation, so far from being injuriously affected by 
the drought, is seen in full bloom, during every month of the year. Thra 
remark, however, only applies to a certain species of vegetation, which, 
perhaps, derives a sufficiency of moisture from the dews. It is true, that 
cjops of wheat, corn, and the like, are much effected by the drought, 
whenever there has been a deficiency of rain, during the previous rainy 
season. When rains fall in abundance during the winter, it is held as a 
sure prelude, and in fact, an assurance, of an abundant crop, the ensuing- 
summer ; but, if there is an insufficiency of rain, crops are Jess abundant 
Seasons which are preceded by a rainy season, which produces a defi- 
ciency of rain, are called dry seasons. These are said to occur, generally, 
CEnce in four or five years, yet latterly, two dry seasons have occurred, m 
succep.sion. Althoiiah the crops of the dry seasons, are much less abi^Br. 
(tint than tiiose of the ordtniry seasons, yet, as will more fully appear, 
npon a subsequent page, the crops even of a diT season, are much belter 
here, tiian they are at any time, m Oregon, or even in most of the States. 
The climate of the Eastern section is much more variable, than that of 
the Western section, and is subject to much greater excesses, of both heat 
and cold. This is attributed to its contiguity to, and its being surrounded 
almost entirely by, the various mountains, many of which are covered 
with perpetual snows. A further reason is found, in the fact of its being 
cut off, almost entirely, from the ■pacific influence of the ocean. The 
mean temperature of this section, is about 58 deg. Fahrenheit, judging 
from such facts as I was able to collect, upon this subject, for we have not 
the same data, in reftTence to the climate of this section. Snow some> 
times falls in some portions of thi.s section, especially in the vicinity of 
the mountains, but it very seldom lies, more than two or three days. 
Running water never freezes, only in the immediate neighborhood of the 
mountains, nor does standing water ever freeze, in portions remote from 
tthe mountains, more than the eighth of one inch in thickness. There are 
numerous valleys in this section, which have as mild winters, as do any 
portions of the Western section. Many portions are also found here, as Iti 
the Western section, where snow, frost, and ice, have never been knowo. 
These facts are ascertained, from the Indians and trappers, who inhabit 
those regions. This section is also, subject to the influence of the south- 
ern winds, which prevail during the winter, as its southern extremity, i« 
not entirely walled in by mountains, as it is elsewhere, but it is much le§s 
affected by either, the southern or northern winds, than the Western sec- 
tion. The excessive heat, which would otherwise prevail here, is vastly 
diminished, by the strong north and north westerly breezes, which pour 
in the cold atmosphere from those regions, and thereby supplying the 
vacuum, which is created by the heated prairies and plains below. The 
snowy mountains also, have a great tendency to diminish the heat of 
summer, and they also, vastly increase the cold of the winter. The rainy 
season of this section, is not unlike, that of the Western section, in any 
other respect, than perhaps, that of its being of longer continuance. Dui» 
ing this season, however, it rains much more frequently here, than in the 
Western section. It is true, that this section does not possess as mild and 
uqiform a climate, as the Western section, but it possesses a much greater 


variety of climates, and temperatures. In the lower valleys is'summer, ha 
(he more elevated valleys is spring-; upon the elevated plains and prairies 
js autumn ; and upon the mountains is winter. There are many portions 
iii which, at any season of the year, you may travel in one day, through 
every degree of temperature, from 120 deg. to minus 18 deg. Fahren- 
heit. Here, perpetual summer, is in the midst of unceasing winter ; pep- 
ennial spring, and never failing autumn, stand side by side; and towering 
enow-clad mountains forever look down upon eternal verdure. 

From what has been said, in reference to the climate, very correct con- 
cjusions may be readily drawn in reference to the adaptation of this 
country, to the promotion of health. There are few portions of the world, 
if any, which are so entirely exempt from all fehrifacient causes. There 
being no low, marshy regions, the noxious miasmatic effluvia, so common 
in such regions, is here, nowhere found. The purity of the atmosphere, 
is most extraordinary, and almost incredible. So pure is it, in fact, that 
flesh of any kind may be hung for weeks together, in the open air, and 
that, too, in the summer season, whhout undergoing putrefaction. The 
Gilifornians prepare their meat for food, as a general thing, in this man- 
ner; in doing which, no salt is required, yet it is sometimes used, as a 
matter of preference. The best evidence, however, that can be adduced, 
in reference to the superior health of this country, is the fact, that disease 
of any kind is very seldom known, in any portion of the country. Cases 
of fever, of any kind, have seldom been known, any where on the coast, 
but bilious intermittent fevers, prevail to a very small extent, in some poi- 
tions of the interior, yet they are of so extremely mild a type, that it is 
very seldom found necessary, to resort to medical aid. Persons attacked 
with these fevers, seldom adopt any other remedy, than that of abstaining 
a short time, from food, or going to the coast. The latter remedy is said 
to be infallible, and I am inclined to that opinion, from the flictthat fevers 
are so seldom known, any where on the coast, and from one or tw^o cases, 
that came under my own observ^ation. The extraordinary health upon 
the coast, is, perhaps, attributable, in a great measure, to the effect of the 
exhilerating and refreshing sea-breezes, which, at all times, prevail in 
that vicinity. All foreigners, with whom I conversed, upon this subject, 
and who reside in that country, are unanimous and confident, in the ex- 
pression of the belief, that it is one of the most healthy portions of the 
world. From my own experience, and knowledge of the country, esp<»- 
dally, of its entire exemption, from all the ordinary causes of disease, and 
the extraordinary purity of its atmosphere, I am clearly of the opinion, 
that there are very few portions of the world, which are superior, or even 
equal to this, in point of healthfulness, and salubrity of climate. While 
all this region, especially on the coast, is entirely exempt, from all febrifk 
causes, it is also entirely free, from all sudden changes, and extreme vari- 
ableness of climate, or other causes of catarrhal, or consumptive affeo- 
tions; hence, I cannot but think, that it is among the most favorable p#- 
sorts in the known world, for invalids. 

-^The productions will next engage our attention ; and here, such facts 
'will be adduced, as will, to some extent, at least, sustain the view taken 
Qpon another page, in reference to the extraordinary fertility of the soil. 
, The productions of the Western section, will be found to differ very ma- 
terially, from those of the Eastern. I shall first notice those of the Wes- 
tern section, at some length. The timber of this section is, generally, 


confined to the coast, the rivers and mountains ; but there are many por- 
tions of the different valleys, off the rivers, which are well supplied with 
good timber. The largest and most valuable timber is found, upon the 
coast, where dense forests, in mnny places, are found, consisting of fie, 

{)ine, cedar, " red wood," (a species of cedar,) spruce, oak, ash and pop- 
ar. Much of this timber grows to an enormous size, especially, the '' red 
wood," fir and pine, which are frequently seen two hundred, and even two 
hundred and fifty feet in height, and fifteen or twenty feet in diametet. 
This timber makes excellent lumber, but its vast size, renders it es- 
tremely difficult, either to chop or saw it, with any degree of facility. 
The timber in the interior, both on the rivers, and in the valleys ren.otfi 
from theriversjconsists chiefly, of oak, of almost every Variety, including 
red, white and live oak, ash, poplar, cherry and willow. It consists 
chiefly, however, of the different varieties of oak and ash. The timber 
of the mountains consist of pine^ fir, arbor vitas, cedar and ppruce. Bs- 
sides the varieties of timber, here mentioned, in many portions of the 
country, there is a dense undergrowth of thorns, hazels, briers, roses and 
grape vines, both upon the coast, and in the interior. The timber of the 
Eastern section, is much the same, as that of the Western sectior.. Here, 
as in that section, it is chiefly, confined to the mountains and riveis, but 
it is, generally, of a much smaller growth, than the same species found 
in that section. It consists, principally, of pine, fir, spruce, cedar, ash, 
poplar, cherry and willow. The oak, ash, cherry, poplar, and willow, 
are generally, found upon, and in the vicinity of the streams, while the fir, 
pine, spruce and cedar, are found, mostly, upon, and in the neighborhood 
of the rnountiiin?;, and the more elevated regions. The undergrowth of 
ihis section, also, consists, principally, of hazels, thorns, briers and grape 
vines. As before remarked, there are some portions of this section which 
produce scarcely any vegelatioiL besid( s the wormwood, or properly, ar- 
timesia, and the prickly pear. It is frequently asserted that there is a very 
great deficiency of timber in this country, but such truly is not the case; 
there is ample timber, in both sections, and in all the various portions of 
each, for all useful purposes. It is true that there is not the same quan- 
tities of timber here, as are found in some portions of Oregon, or in some 
parts of the States, yet, the same quantity is not required, in a climate of 
such extraordinary mildness and uniformity. 

Both the climate and the soil, are,eminently, adapted to the growing of 
wheat, rye, oats, barley, beans and peas, hemp, flax, tobacco, cotton, rice, 
coffee, corn and cane, as well as all kinds of vegetables, and especially, 
such as potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, onions and the like. And both 
the soil and climate are no less adapted to the growing of the greatest va- 
riety of fruits; among which are apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries 
and grapes, as well as most of the tropical fruits, particularly such as 
oranges, lemons, citrons, dates, figs and pomegranates. It is rather su^ 
prising, that almost all of the tropical and northern grains and fruits, 
should be- produced here, in conjunction, in the same latitude ; but it istio 
more surprising, than it is to find a southern climate, in a northern latitude, 
as is the case, everywhere upon the Pacific coast, and which is clearly ah 
tributable to the causes stated upon a previous page. There are other 
mediate causes which might be assigned, but the above is, manifestly, the 
proximate cause ; yet, accounting for a northern lathude's possessing a 
southern climate, is, after all, much like accounting for a northern man's 


possessing southern principle?; many circumstances, in either case, must be 
taken into the account. Without attempting- to assign any further reasons, 
"however, I will proceed; for, perhaps, it is sufficient for the present pur- 
pose, to show that such is the fact, for which each can account, at his lei- 
sure, and in his own way. Many kinds of the grains and fruits above 
enumerated, are indigenous for instance, the oats, wheat, rye; many of 
the tropical fruits, and a great variety of grapes; flax, a kind of hemp, 
and red and white clover, are also indigenous productions, The oats here 
alluded to, have precisely the external appearance of our common oats; 
but, upon examination, it will be seen that the grain differs slightly from 
that of ours. It is rather smaller, and is covered with a kind of furzy in- 
tegument; otherwise, it is precisely similar to that of our common oats. 
They,^generally, grow much higher than ours,and the stalk is much larger, 
but this is attributable to the superior fertility of the soil, and the greater 
generative influence of the climate, and not to the difference of the spe- 
cies. Their usual height is about two or three feet, and the stalk is, conir 
jnonly, about the size of that of our ordinary oats; but they are frequently 
found, even eight feet high, having a stalk half an inch in diameter. Sever- 
al of the farmers here, informed me, that they had often seen many thousands 
of acres in a body, which were higher than they could reach, when on 
horseback. They only grow, to this enormous height, during those 
seasons, which have been preceeded by the falling of an abundance of 
rain, during the rainy season. The season, which 1 spent in this region, 
was a dry season, that is, comparatively little rain full during the previ- 
ous rainy season ; but, upon several occasions, I measured the stalks of 
oats, which were six feet long, and nearly half of an inch in diameter. 
In traveling through the various sections of the country, I have passed 
through thousands of acres, which were from two to five feet in height, 
and as dense as they could possibly stand : when, at the same time, I al- 
most hourly saw the old sialics, of years previous, which were seven or 
eight feet in length, and sufficiently large and strong, for walking sticks. 
It is not uncommon, either in a dry or wet season, to see continuous plains 
and valleys, of thousands of acres in extent, which are thickly, and al- 
most entirely clad, with oats of two or three feet in height, which would 
produce much more abundant crops, than our cultivated oats. In many 
portions of the country, in the interior, the Indians subsist almost wholly 
upon them, and in other portions, if a farmer wishes to grow a crop of 
oats, he has nothing to do, but to designate a certain tract as his oat field, 
and either fence it, or employ a few Indians, to prevent the herds from 
grazing upon it; which being done, in May or June, he reaps a much 
larger crop, than we are able to do, in any of the States, with all the labor 
axid expense of cultivation. 

The clover, of which I speak, is in all respects, like our ordinary red, 
aiid white clover, grown in the different States, with the exception of its 
growing much larger. Its usual height is about two or three feet, but 
vast bodies of it, are frequently found, four or five feet in height, and as 
dense as it can possibly grow. It is chiefly confined to the valleys, con- 
tiguous to the rivers, but it is also, sometimes found, in large bodies, in 
many of the plains, and upon the hills. All of the bottoms and valleys, 
as well as many of the plains and hills, abound with this clover, which, 
when matured, affords a most excellent natural hay, of which, all kinds 
of stock, are extremely fond. The flax found among the spontaneous 


productions, is in all respects, like that grown in the States. Its general 
height is two or three feet, though it is frequently found much larger* 
Unlike the oats and clover, it is chiefly confined, to the northern portion 
of the country, and is seldom found in larger tracts than five or six hun- 
dred acres in a body, but wherever it is found, it grows very densely and 
luxuriantly, even more so than that grown in the east. The fibres ap« 
pear to be equally as strong, as those of the ordinary flax, and it is, iti 
truth, the same species. It is used by the Indians, to a very large extent, 
for the purpose of making seines and ropes, to which purposes it is found 
to be admirably suited. The hemp here found, does not resemble ours, 
nor is it properly hemp, although so called ; it is properly a species of thj? 
spurge, commonly called milk-weed, but there called hemp. Like th® 
spurge, it emits a milky juice when wounded ; grows about three feet 
high, and has a tough fibrous bark, which is used by the -Mexicans and 
Indians, in large quantities, for making ropes, seines, and for various oth- 
er purposes. Comparatively, it grows in very small quantities, as you 
very seldom see more than fifty, or a hundred acres of it together. Wheat 
and rye are also, said to be, indigenous growths, but I am not of that 
opinion, although I have seen wheat, rye, oats, clover and flax, all grow- 
ing together, more than three hundred miles, from any settlement. But 
upon a close observance, I perceived, that the wheat and rye, were found 
only, in the immediate vicinity of the encampments, of the traders and traj)- 
pers, who have, for years, traversed that country. Upon inquiring of 
tliose, who have resided in that country, for many years, I ascertained* 
that the traders and trappers, in passing through the interior, frequently 
take both wheat and rye with them, as food for themselves and their hop* 
ses. These facts, were fully convincing, to my mind, that the wheat and 
rye had been introduced, into the interior, in that manner. Other pel?* 
sons informed me, that they had, very frequently seen, both wheat and 
rye, far in the interior, and in portions of the country never visited by tlie 
traders and trappers, but still, I am of the opinion, that if not introduced 
in the above manner, they must have been introduced by the Indians, or 
fowls, and hence, that although they are spontaneous, yet, they are not indi^ 
genous productions. The various grasses found here, are much like those 
found in Oregon, and in many of the States. That common to the low- 
er valleys and bottoms, is much larger and coarser, than that which grows 
upon the more elevated valleys, plains and hills. The former, usually 
grows, about two or three feet high, while the latter grows, but about six 
inches or a foot high. The short grass is much the finest and sweetest, 
and is always sought after, in preference by all herbivorous animals. BotB 
kinds here alluded to, form a very excellent quality of natural hay, during 
the summer, of which, the herds are very fond, and which, is sought by 
many grazing animals, in preference to the green herbage, which is found 
at every season of the year. Thus, it is seen, that the various grasses, 
the oats and clover, all of which, are undigenous productions, not only 
afford inexhausted pasturage, during the growing season, but also, inej^ 
baustible provender, during all the residue of the year. 

Thus far, I have only spoken of the indigenous productions, those 
which are produced by tillage, will next be considered. The wheat wiU 
receive our first, and most particular attention , as it is the principal grain 
grown in this country, as yet, and as it will undoubtedly, always consth- 
tute one of the principal staples of the country. There are several kin^s 


of wheat grown here, among which, are all the common varieties, grown 
Ui the States, as well as several varieties, which are unknown in th« 
States. The wheat most commonly grown, however, is that which is 
called the wheat of Taos, which grows here, about three or four feel 
high, and bears seven distinct heads or ears, each of which, is equally as 
large, as those of the common variety. One head is situated upon the 
stalk, precisely as that of the ordinary wheat, and upon each side of this 
head, there are three others, putting out from the main stock, about three 
fourths of an inch, below each other. The berry is equally as large, a» 
tliat of the ordinary kind, and it is said to weigh, about four pounds to 
the bushel heavier. This wheat produces very abundantly, as also, djo 
the various other kinds, as far as they have been tried. The average 
crop is from thirty to forty bushels to the acre, or to one of sowing; but an 
average crop of Ufty, sixty, and even seventy bushels, to the acre, is fre- 
quently received. Several very respectable and credible geiUlenien, in- 
formed me, tliat there had been an instance, within their own knowledge, 
oi a farmer's having received one hundred and twenty bushels to the acre ; 
and that, the next year , from a spontaneous growth, upon the same 
gi'ound, he received sixty-one bushels, to the acre. To many it will ap- 
pear impossible, that one acre of ground, sliould produce that quantity of 
wheat, and hence, to them, the above statement will appear incredible ; 
hut I have not llie least doubt, of its entire correctness. This is no more 
extraordinary, than it would be to see oats growing spontaneously, four, 
or even five or six feet high, over thousands of acres ; nor is it farther re- 
moved from the common order of things, than it would be to see sponta- 
neous growths of flax and clover, of three or four feet in height, covering 
vast plains and valleys, as far as vision extends, yet these things arc true. 
Wheat is generally sov/n, from the first of November, to the first of 
March, and is iiarvested in May or June, depending upon the time of its 
being sown, which is usually deferred, until the commencement of the 
raiiny season. This course is pursued, because of the greater ease with 
which the lands are ploughed, after the falling of the rains. Rye, barley, 
file cultivated oats, hemp and flax, have not, as yet, been tried, but they 
will all, undoubtedly, produce extremely well, judging from what ha« 
been previously said, in reference to their spontaneous productions. Cori; 
is not grown to much extent, but wherever it is grown, it yields extreme- 
ly well, giving an average crop, of about fifty or sixty bushels to the acre. 
It is proper, liowever, here to remark, that the corn grown here, at this 
time, is what is called the Spanish corn, which is a much smaller kind, 
flian our common Indian corn, and produces much less abundandy; and 
that, after it is planted, no further attention is paid to it, until it is matured, 
'^ith ordinary cultivation, even this kind would, undoubtedly, give a 
much more plentiful return. It is commonly planted, in February and 
March, and is harvested, any time after the last of June, by which time, 
ft always matures. The climate and the soil are both, peculiarly adapted, 
to the growing of tobacco, cotton, rice and cane. Tobacco has already 
been tested, with eminent success ; it is said to grow with as much lux- 
Hriance, and to yield as plentifully, as it does in Cuba ; and the quality is 
tjiought not to be inferior, to that grown in Cuba, or elsewhere. Rice, 
cotton and cane, have not, as yet, been tested, but the probability is, that 
they will succeed admirably. It is said, by some, that cotton, can not 


be grown, even with ordinary success, where there is no rain during the 
summer ; hut experience controverts this view ; for it is grown with emi- 
nent success, in other portions of Mexico, which have a similar climate> 
And which have not a drop of rain, during the entire summer. All kinds 
of garden vegetables, are grown here, with extraordinary success, many 
kinds of which, are planted and gathered, at any, and every season of the 
year. Melons of all kinds, produce extremely well, in all portions of 
this section, much better, in fact, than they do in any portion of the States. 

The various fruits which are here produced, have been enumerated 
npon a former page, including both those which are indigenous, and those 
which are cultivated, as well as all of the northern and the tropical fruits. 
The latter are chiefly, confined to the southern portions of this section, 
while the northern fruits abound, in all the different portions, both in the 
north and the south. The same variety, of the ordinary cultivated fruits, 
of the north, is not found here, as exists in many of the states, but several 
varieties have been introduced, and they have been found to yield most plen- 
tifully. Even in the most northern part, of this section, the peach trees, and 
various other fruit trees, bloom in January and February, and in the south- 
ern part, as early as December. The cultivated grape grows most luxuriant- 
ly, and produces very abundantly ; and when ripe, it is among the most de- 
licious and grateful fruits, that ever grace the festival board. There are many 
vineyards here, of ten or fifteen acres in extent, where the grape is grown 
in large quantities ; and prepared and preserved, in all the various man- 
ners, know elsewhere. At these vineyards, raisins are made in suflScient 
quantities, for home consumption, and may, undoubtedly, be made in largs 
quantities, for exportation. They are, usually, prepared, either by par- 
tially cutting the stalks, of the branches, before the grapes are entirely 
ripe, and allowing them to remain upon the vine, until they are perfectly 
dried ; or by gathering them, in their matured state, and steeping them, 
for a short time, in an alkaline lye, previous to their being dried. Thoss 
which are cured by the first method, are the most delicious, and are much 
preferred ; and they are, prehaps, not inferior to the Malaga raisins, which 
are imported from Spain. Besides the delicious fruits, which they afford 
for the table, they also afford a most generous wine, which always consti- 
tutes, one of the grand essentials of a California dinner. Here I must 
confess, that my temperance pledge, although formerly including all al?- 
coholic, intoxicating and vinous liquors, did not extend to the latter, in 
California ; and I am inclined to believe that old father Mathew himself, 
however far he might be from doing so in the north, would drink wine in 
California ; I know old Bacchus would. 

A great variety of wild fruits, also abound, in all the different portions, 
of this section, among which, are crab-apples, thorn-apples, plums, grapes, 
strawberries, cranberries, whortleberries, and a variety of cherries. The 
strawberries are extremely abundant, and they are the largest, and most 
delicious, that I have ever seen ; much larger, than the largest, which we 
Bee in the various States. They bloom in January, and ripen in March, 
when they are gathered and dried, in large quantities, by the settlers and 
the Indians. The grapes are also unusually plentiful, especially, in the 
vicinity of the rivers, creeks and lakes, where the greatest variety fa» 
found. They are gathered in great quantities, by the various tribes of 
Indians, not only for their own consumption, but for that of the white 
sgltlers. I have not unfrequently seen the Indians, arrive at Capt. S«4- 


tier's fort, with thirty or forty bushels at a time, which beings measured, 
the Capt. would pay them, some trivial compensation, when they would 
depart for their villages, with the view of returning the next, and every 
succeeding day, while the grapes were to be obtained. The grapes thua 
(Jbtained by the Capt. were designed either for the table sauce, or distilla- 
tion. The mast of this section, is also extremely plentiful, in all the dif- 
ferent valleys, and other timbered lands, especially the acorns, which I 
have observed here, in much greater abundance, than I have ever seen 
them elsewhere. All the common varieties, found in the States, are also 
found here, and in quantities sufficient for all the swine, and all the other 
animals, which subsist upon mast, as well as the various tribes of Indians, 
many of whom, subsist almost entirely upon them, the greater part of 
the year. Large, spreading, white oaks, are often seen, which produce 
thirty or forty bushels, to the tree ; under many of which, the ground is 
literally covered with them, several inches in thickness. 

The ,grain and fruits, of the [Eastern section, differ somewhat, from 
diose of the Western section, which is attributable, to the great difference 
of soil and climate. Many of the spontaneous productions are, however, 
the same, in many portions of this section, for instance, the oats, clover, 
flax and hemp, many of the wild fruits, and various grapes, all of which, 
grow here also, with the greatest luxuriance, and in the largest quantities. 
The cultivated productions will, from the peculiarity of the soil, and cli- 
mate be confined to wheat, rye, oats, flax, hemp, tobacco, corn, rice, 
beans, peas, the various vegetables, apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes 
and cherries. Cotton and corn, can not, perhaps, be grown with any 
degree of success, in any portion of this section, nor can many, if any, of 
the tropical fruits. Nothing can be said with certainty, in relation to the 
yield of the various cultivated grains and fruits, which may be produced 
in this section, as all agricultural experiments, have, thus far, been con- 
fined, entirely to the Western section; but judging from the peculiar 
adaptation, of the soil and climate, to their production, there is no doubt, 
but that, many of the various productions, above enumerated, may be pro- 
duced here, with the same cultivation, equally as abundantly, as they can 
be in the Western section. This view is strengthened, when we reflect, 
that all the various indigenous" grains and fruits, grow equally as luxuri- 
antly, and produce, with equal profusions, here, as in that section. 



Slock; innumerable herds of. Horses; vast herds of; size of; durahiULy of; 
variety of colors of; method, of catching; great destruction of Cattlef 
countless numbers of; superiorily of; ferocity of; method of taking; meth- 
od of bra nding. JJestiiict ive prodigality of ]\fea^'ca ns. C 'altle and horses 
driven to Oregon. Sheep; large numbers of; dzeof; quality of Foilr- 
ho-med sheep. Young produced ticice annually. Sheep driven to Oregorb. 
Hogs; aversion of Mexicans to; pecidiar adaptation to the reanng of. 
Herdsmen. Adaptation of Eastei^i section., to grazing purposes. Game 
of Western section.; variety of Elk; numbers of . A California hunter. 
Elk valuable for their beef; wilhirhat facility killed; largest on the west 
aide of the mourdains; easy of domestication. Antelope; great numbers 
of; peculiarities of; method of killing. Deer; varieties of; compajative 
numbers of Bear; dijferent kinds of; numbers of; size of; rapacious- 
ness of; li/no taken ; for what fmrpose taken. Black and, grizzly bear.^ 
less numeroits. Wolves; different kinds of ; great numbers of; trouble^ 
some to settlers. Fur-bearing animals ; abundance of; proper regard to 
their preservation. Game of ilie Eastern section; sim.ilar to that of th4 
Western section. Feathered animals; variety of; numbers of. Fish; 
variety of; abundance of; size of; quality of ; how taken; how cured.. 
Shellfish; abundance of; quality of. Whales; numbers of Fish of 
Eastern section. Fisheries; numbers of; inexhausiibleness of ; not surpas- 
sed by those of Newfoundland. 

Stock of all kinds, succeed most admirably, in all portions of the 
Western section, which, however, would be inferred, from what has been 
previously adduced. Immense herds, of all the various domestic animals, 
are reared, with little, or no expense. They require neither feeding nor 
housing, and are always sufficiently fattened, for the slaughter-house. 
Instead of becoming lean and meager, during the winter, as our herds do, 
they are always much the fattest, and in the best condition, during that 
season. Horses are here found, in herds almost innumerable, and they 
are always in the best condition, for active and laborious service. Al- 
though they are rather smaller than ours, they are much more hardy and 
fleet, and equally as well, if not better proportioned. They endure 
fatigue much better, than any horses with which I am acquainted; it is 
not uncommon to ride or drive them, for several days in succession, withr 
out either food or rest. It is the practice of the Mexicans to tie them up, 
without food or water, for several days previous to using them; this 
eourse, however, is only pursued, when some extraordinary feat is to be 
performed; as that of riding the same horse a hundred miles in tei> 
nours, which is not unfrequcntly done. For a Mexican to ride a hundred 
miles in one day, is not uncommon, nor docs it appear to require any ex- 
traordinary effort. One hundred miles a day, are as frequently driven 
by the Mexicans as fifty are by our people, in truth, with them, it is but 
an ordinary day's ride, which, however, is generally performed with twb 
or three horses, which are alternately ridden, as circumstances requir©^ 
The usual gait at which those horses are driven, is a fast gallop, at which 
gait they are frequently kept, for many hours in succession, with very 
slight intervals of rest, of five or ten minutes, and that too, without food: 
I have frequently ridden those horses, over the plains of California, upon 
a fast gallop, for five or six consecutive hours, without the least interoaxe- 


sioti. This will enable the reader to arrive at a tolerably correct conclo?- 
gion, in reference to the hardiness, and durability of the California horses, 
which, although they are rather smaller, are, I think, in many respucts, 
superior to our own. They are, generally, better formed, and much 
more fleet, than our comnion horses. Among- them, you will see 
every variety of color, imaginable, from a jet black, to a snow white. 
All the varieties of colors found among our horses, are found among 
them, besides many varieties which are never found among oura. 
Many are roan, with the exception of their manes, tails and (;ars, which 
are black, brown or bay; others are white, with the exception of their 
njanes, tails and ears, which are cream-colored, tipped with bay or black; 
emd others are lead, copper or cream colored, with bay, black or brown ears, 
manes and tails. Perhaps the description given of Jacob's cattle, would 
be as expressive of the variety of colors, of the California horsts, as any 
fliat can well be given. They are mijch better trained for the saddle, tlian 
ours, and generally, much better gaited, and more gentle and kindly dis^ 
posed when broken. 

The different farmers always keep a number of herdsmen, whose busi- 
aess it is to drive the horses, from place to place, as it becomes necessary, 
10 seek additional pasturage, and who are, usually, Indians or Mex- 
icans of the lowest grade. One of thtse herdsmen, wishing to catch 
any horse which he may desire, mounts on^ of his most fleet horses, 
which he always keeps under the saddle, for that purpose, and rushes 
into a band with a '-lasso," which, when he has approached within twenty 
or thirty yards, of the dcsisjnated steed, he throws, with surprising accu- 
racy, around his neck, and thus he is noosed and secured. They are 
either taken in the above manner, or they are driven into a "caral,'* 
where they are taken, in the manner just described. The ''lasso," is a 
very sirong rope, usually made of raw hide, and is about sixty feet in 
length, atone end of which, there is a noose, which is thrown upon the 
neck of the horse, as before stated, while the other end, is firmly attached, 
to the pommel of the saddle. As soon as the "lasso'"" is thus thrown upon 
fhe neck of the horse, designed to be taken, the saddle horse, being pro- 
perly trained, immediately braces firmly, in order to guard against the 
frightful efforts, of the plunging and snorting steed; and from the decided 
advantage, which he has, in pulling by the girth of the saddle, wliile the 
other pulls by his neck only, he invariably succeeds in resisting every 
effort, of the wildest and most powerful. These horses are but slightly 
smaller than ours, which may, perhaps, be attributed to the entire inatten- 
tion, to their rearing, which may be seen from the following facts. 
Many of the farmers have as many as fifteen or twenty thousand head, 
which are all permitted to range together, with very little notice or atten- 
tion, other than that of branding them when young. So numerous are 
ihey, that they have frequently been killed by thousands, in order to pre- 
sei've the vegetation for the cattle, which are considered much the most 
valuable. Instead of this inhuman and destructive practice, how easily 
could those indolent beings, drive their horses into the interior, which ex- 
tends almost a terra incognita^ and which everywhere, abounds with 
fpontaneous and inexhaustible vegetation? By this course, they would 
Qot only preserve and increase their stock, but they would also preserve 
a character, for propriety and humanity ; but inherent indolence forbid* 
l««y course which requires any active exertion. A Mexican always par 


goes that method of doing things, which requires the least physical or 
mental exorcise, unless it involves some danger, in which case, he always 
adopts some other method. 

The cattle are much more numerous than the horses ; herds of count- 
less numbers are everywhere seen, upon all the different valleys and 
plains, throughout this entire section. It is said that many of the farmei? 
have, from twenty to thirty thousand head. In whatever district yon 
travel, you see many thousands of large fine cattle, which, in herds innu- 
merable, are traversing those unbounded plains, of oats, clover and flax, 
of unparalleled growth. These cattle are undoubtedly superior to ours, 
especially for the yoke, as they are much larger, and they are equally as 
valuable for their milk, and much more valuable for their beef, which is 
always much fatter and more tender, than that of our cattle. When domes- 
ticated, they are equally as gentle and as tractable as ours, but before they 
are domesticated, they are as wild, as the deer or elk. Each farmer how- 
ever, usually has as many of both oxen and cows, as are required upon his 
farm, ^hich are fully domesticated, but as a general thing, they are not only 
as wild as the deer and elk, but they are as ferocious as tigers. Such is their 
ferocity, that it is extremely unsafe, to venture among them, otherwise than 
on horseback, in which manner, persons not only go among them, with per- 
fect safety, but a few persons may thus drive and herd them, with the same 
ifecility, that they could our cattle. Should a person venture among them on 
foot, when they are collected in large herds, he would be instantly attacked 
and slain, unless he should find refuge, in some position which would 
prove inaccessible by them. As a general thing, the farmers herd them 
regularly, and occasionally drive them into a "caral," or inclosure, when 
their timidity is so increased, and their ferocity is so diminished, that they 
are caught and branded, with much facility. They are taken, when driven 
into these "carals," m a manner, similar to that in which, the horses are 
taken, as before described, but with a slight difference, which I will here 
notice. The "lasso," instead of being thrown upon their necks, is thrown 
upon their hindmost legs, when the other end of the "lasso," being firmly 
attached to the pommel of the saddle, the rider plies the spur, to his horse, 
and in the twinkling of an eye, the captured bullock, is prostrated upon 
the ground, plunging and leaping, with desperate effort, to acquire an 
upright position, but all to no purpose. Now the red-hot iron is applied, 
as the owner directs, giving such impress as he may have selected as his 
brand, when the "lasso,'' is detached from his legs, by an Indian, who is 
very cautious to secure a safe retreat, before the infuriated animal, again 
obtains footing. There are stated times, at which the different farmers, 
tlius collect their cattle, for the purpose of branding them, when the vari- 
ous farmers in the same neighborhood, always convene, at each point de- 
signated, for the purpose of ascertaining, whether their cattle are intermin- 
gfed with those of their neighbors. Cattle were reared,formerly ,for their 
hides only, but latterly, they are reared for their hides, tallow and beef. 
Several respectable gentlemen informed me, that formerly, it was very com- 
mon for persons to kill, hundreds and thousands, of their cattle merely for 
their hides, leaving the beef of innumeraole, fine, fat cattle to the wolves 
and buzzards. The same gentlemen also informed me, that in traveling 
through the plains of the interior, they had often seen the ground strewed, 
with many hundreds, of large, fat cattle, which had been killed, merely for 
the hides, and that the bodies being thus exposed to the rays of the sun, th?-- 


tallow was actually exuding^ from them, to such an extent, that the surfac« 
Oi the ground was actually saturated with it, for several feet, around each* 
Tbis affords another instance, of the destructive prodigality of the Mex- 
icans, which, however, is not latterly pursued, but the course pursued by 
them now, would not be considered sufficiently frugal by an American, 
as many gf them weekly kill, three or four beeves, which are either used 
or thrown away, by themselves, or their servants. As has been before 
remarked, both cattle and horses are now driven, in large numbers, to 
Oregon, and the presumption is, that the increasing emigration, to that 
country, will render it an extensive market, for the various herds of this 
country, for many years to come. 

Much attention is latterly paid to the rearing of sheep, which are now 
found in great numbers, and which are of a very superior kind. They 
thrive extremely well, in all the various portions of the country, but more 
particularly ,in the more elevated and mountainous regions. They are 
equally as large, and produce quite as much wool as ours, but it is of 
rather a coarser quality; which fict is, perhaps, partly attributable to the 
ciimatej but mostly to a total neglect in reference to their improvement. 
They produce their young twice annually, and many of the males have 
two distinct pairs of horns, or four horns, two upon each side of their heads, 
€achc6iling repeatedly around, as do those of the ordinary sheep. Many 
of the farmers have as many as ten or twelve thousand, of the wool of 
which, various kinds of coarse cloths and blankets, are manufactured. 
Sheep are also now driven to Oregon, in numbers sufficient to supply all 
the different settlers. The Hudson's Bay Company has, latterly, driven 
many to that country, with which, all its various forts, and settlements are 
supplied. Hogs are now reared, by the Mexicans, in all the different 
settlements, but not with a view of making pork ; for,rrom some religious 
scruple, or some other scruple, or perhaps, from a dislike to eat his kind, 
a Mexican will not eat pork. Hogs arc, therefore, reared by them, merely 
for the purpose of making soap, of which, by the by, they require large 
quantities. From the extraordinary abundance of mast here found, the 
nogs are always fat, so that they require no feeding, at any season of the 
year. Besides the various fruits upon which they subsist, there are also, 
very great quantities of edible roots, upon which, as well as upon the 
oats, clover and the like, they subsist, previous to the filling of the mast. 
Hogs, like all other animals here, increase to an extent, almost unpar- 
alleled, but they are rather inferior to ours, yet they are equally as large, 
I weighing, usually, from one hundred, to six hundred pounds. Herdsmen 
I are always employed, by the different farmers, to take charge, not only 
' of the herds of horses, but also of the cattle, sheep, and hogs. These 
: herdsmen always remain with, or in the immediate vicinity, of the differ^ 
i ©it herds, driving them from place to place, as circumstances may require, 
: with a view of protecting them from the incursions of the Indians and 
I wolves. The herdsmen thus employed, are either, Indians, or the lower 
I order of Mexicans, who are well skilled in their particular business, to 
which, they are very attentive, and in which, they appear to enjoy, al- 
I most infinite delight. The Eastern section is also, well adapted to tlw 
rearmg of herds of all kinds, though as before remarked, it is not as emi- 
nently suited to this purpose, as the Western section. That this section 
' is suited in more than an ordinary degree, to grazing purposes, will be 
jeadily collected from what has been said, upon the former pages, jn 


reference to its climate and productions, but, as no experiments have been 
made, in this respect, nothing can be said with definite exactness ; enough, 
however, has been said to enable each, to draw his own conclusiom^ 
with some degree of correctness. 

The game of the Western section, consists, for the most part, of ell^ 
deer, antelope, bear, wolves, goats, foxes, squirrels, racoons, martens, 
muskrats, beavers, otters and seals. The most numerous of these, ane 
the elk and antelope, which are found in immense numbers, in all the 
various plains and valleys, and upon the hills and mountains. It is very 
common to see herds, of five or six hundred elk, ranging from vale to 
vale, amid the oats, clovftr and flax, with which, the plains and valleys 
everywhere abound. I remember to have been riding through these 
plains, with a countryman of ours, when, just as we passed a point of 
timbcrt'd country, near the river, about four or five hundred elk emerged 
from the woods. As they were passing, score after score, in quick suc- 
cession, I suggested to my companion, the propriety of shooting one of 
them, to which he replied, that he 'intended to do so," but made no other 
arrangements, than to dismount. Now, fearing that he would not shoot, 
until they had all passed, I inquired why he did not shoot. Fie replied, 
that he "would in a moment," but he permitted them all to pass, excepting 
the very last, which he shot, as soon as it came opposite to him, when k 
ran a shoi t distance, but soon fell. We were instantly at the spot, when 
the Califiiniia hunter commenced to divest our victim, of its outer gar- 
ment. During this process, I inquired of him, why he did not shoot be- 
fore, when they were much nearer him, and the opportunity was so much 
more favorable. He replied, that he saw I was no hunter. "The one 
behind," said he, '•! selected because it was the flittest, and I knew it was 
the fattest because it was behind, for the fat ones cannot run as fast as the 
lean ones." This vi^-w I found to be correct, for a fatter animal, I never 
Saw, in California or elsewhere. In every part of the country, through 
which I passed, I found them equally abundant. Many of the farmers, 
instead of killing their cattle, go, or send their servants out, whenever 
they wish to secure a supply of meat, and kill as many as they may re- 
quire, for their families, and the Indians in their service. Several of these 
gentlemen informed me, that they had, very frequently, killed seven or 
eight each morning, and in less time than one hour. The elk here, are 
always very fat, and they make the very best of beef, which is, in fact, 
much tenderer and sweeter, than that of our common cattle. They are 
much larger than those which are found on this side of the mountains, 
weighing usually from three to six hundred pounds. They can be as 
certainly relied upon,, for their meat, as the common cattle, for they are 
very nearly as domestic. They are very easily domesticated, in which 
state, they are even now found, in various portions of this section, and are 
seen intermingling with other domestic animals upon the farms. 

The antelope are equally as numerous as the elk, and are much more 
domestic. In whatever direction you travel, you will see many hundreds 
of them, either grazing upon the plains, or collecting in large flocks, in the 
shades of the scattering pines, throughout the plains. They are beautiful 
Animals, but neither their skin nor flesh, is as valuable as that of the eik» 
Their skins are much less valuable, because of their thinness, and hence, 
inadaptation to the making of leather. In this respect, they very much 
resemble the skin of the deer, as which, they are equally as thick and vat 


tiBble. Their flesh is much tenderer, than that of either, tlie elk or deer, 
but it is also much leaner, and consequently, much less nutritious. 
These animals have many peculiarities, some of which are, perhaps, 
worthy of a partial notice. They are extremely domestic, so much so, 
that they will, at times, remain in the shades of the trees, until you ap- 
proach within a very few rods of them, when they will bound off slowly, 
occasionally stopping, and turning towards you, then again, leaping slowly 
away. Large numbers of them, will very often, trot directly towards you, 
and gazing intensely at you, they will thus approach, within eight or ten 
rods of you, when they will leap frightfully away, a distance of several 
rods, then turning towards you again, they will, with a fast pace, approach 
very near to you, as before, then standing and looking eagerly at you, they 
remain until their timidity is again aroused, when they again bound swift- 
ly away. They thus approach, and re-approach, very frequently, and 
until their curiosity is satisfied, or their fears are aroused, when they leap 
and bound away, with the velocity of light, and are soon lost in the stall- 
worth vegetation, of the vast valleys. Their curiosity is evidendy exci- 
ted, which is the cause of their thus, approaching and re-approaching. 
Those who are acquainted with their peculiarity, in this respect, are fre- 
quently, able to kill many of them, merely by distending a red handker- 
chief, or any red cloth, which will so attract their attention, that they will, 
immediately advance, within a few rods of them, where they will stand, 
gazing upon the cloth, until they are fired upon, when those which are 
not affected by the fire, gallop slowly away a few rods, when they again 
advance as before. This is frequently repeated, until dozens of them 
have fallen victims, to their inherent curiosit) . The deer are much less 
numerous, than either the elk, or antelope, but they are much more plen- 
tiful, than they are in the States. There are various kinds of the deer, 
found in this section, such, for instance, as the white tailed, the black 
tailed and the moose deer. All of these abound in every part of this sec- 
tion, but because of their comparative wildness, and the great abundance 
of preferable game, they are very seldom hunted. 

Several kinds of bear are also found, such as the black, brown and griz- 
zly bear, all of which, are found in great abundance, especially, the blown 
bear, which are, frequently seen in herds, of fifteen or twenty in number. 
Their flesh is much admired by the Mexicans,as food, consequently, they 
are much hunted; and those are often found, that weigh twelve or fifteen 
hundred pounds. It is very difficult to distinguish them from the buffalo, 
when at a distance, for they very much resemble them, both in color and 
size. They are ferocious, only when attacked, when they will readily 
give battle, which they conduct with almost unparalleled fury and success. 
Upon being attacked, they stop a few moments, and until they have suc- 
cessfully repelled every assault, of either man or dog, when they again 
move swingingly on, until they have secured a safe retreat. The rifle 
and the " lasso " are, the only weapons, against which, they can not suc- 
cessfully contend. When a foreigner, with a good rifle, carrying about 
eighteen balls to the pound, happens to come in contact with one of themt 
the contest is soon over ; the king of the forest is slain. The. "lasso " 
of the Mexicans, is a weapon, which is also found, too formidable for his 
majesty^ under the repeated assaults of which, he is very readily made to 
recoil. The process bv which, the Mexicans thus take them, is very in- 

^ 13 ' 


teresting, especially to those who are unacquainted with Mexican mannere 
and customs. When they wish to capture one of these formidable an- 
imals, five or six of tliem, with chosen, and trained horses, sally forth, to 
his usual haunts, where, at any time, large numbers are found. Each 
being supplied with a strong " lasso," and an abundant supply of knives, 
swords and the like, the battle now commences ; one party having a de- 
cided advantage, in the multiplicity of weapons, and speed, and the other^ 
having vastly the advantage, in physical strength and courage. The as- 
sault, is generally, first made by the Mexicans, who commence a most fu- 
rious, running charge, both from the front and rear. Seeing his precari- 
ous predicament, the bear meets the charge from the front, with such ac- 
cumulating ferocity and violence, that his assailants are soon put to flight, 
when he shakes his ponderous head, utters a most terrific growl, and com- 
mences a hot pursuit ; but soon, the Mexican forces, are brought to bear 
upon his rear ; his hindmost legs are entangled in the "lasso ;" and he 
is prostrated upon his back, uttering most piteous, growling cries. The 
forces of the assailants, are now united, and a lasso is also thrown upon 
his neck, when the spurs are rapidly plied to the horses, which now ex- 
exert every energy, every nerve, and soon, the powerful victim is distend- 
ed upon the ground, in an entirely defenceless condition. As their victim 
is now completely in their pov/er, they proceed to attach a " lasso " to al- 
most every limb, which being done, they move o^, either rapidly or slow- 
ly, as their preference and the weight, of their victim, may happen to sug- 
gest. Bear are taken in this manner, only when it is desired to take 
them alive, for the purpose of bear-baiting. The black and grizzly bear, 
are not as numerous as the brown bear, yet when compared with those of 
any other country, with which I am acquainted, they may be said to be 
very numerous. In almost every direction, in which you travel, through 
the plains and mountains, you will very frequently see, herds of ten or 
fifteen in number, many of which, are equally as large as the brown bear, 
but they are generally much smaller, weighing from five, to twelve hun- 
dred pounds. These are also taken by the Mexicans, in the manner 
above stated, but in much less numbers, than the brown bear. Capturing 
the bear, in this manner, is one of the chief amusements of the Mexi- 
cans, and they really evince an energy and bravery, in this kind of con- 
flict, to which they are entire strangers, when in conflict with men, and 
especially Texians. 

Wolves are very numerous in all portions of this section, among which, 
are the black, gray, and the prairie wolves ; the latter of which, are very 
small, but they are much the most numerous and troublesome. Of the 
former, the gray wolf is much the most numerous, but the black wolf is 
much the largest, being generally about the size of our common large 
mastiffs. All the different kinds of wolves, are very troublesome in all 
the various settlements, into which they make very frequent inroads, not 
only destroying the hogs and sheep, W also, frequently attacking and 
destroying even the grown cattle. The cause of there being such an 
abundance of all the different kinds of wolves, is, perhaps, that they are 
never killed, either by the Mexicans or foreigners. They do not kill 
them, because they are entirely worthless, and because the people in 
that country, have not a superabundance of ammunition. In traveling 
through the valleys of this section, you will pass many hundreds of them, 
during the day, which appear to evince no timidity, but with heads and 


tails down, in their natural crouching- manner, they pass within a very- 
few rods of you. As shooting them would be a waste of so much ammu- 
nition, you allow them to pass unmolested, and thus, their timidity is dimin 
ished, and their familiarity and numbers are increased. The fur-bearing 
animals are much more numerous in this section, than in any other portion 
of the country, west of the Rocky mountains, especially the beavers, 
otters, muskrats and seals. Besides these, there are all tho.^e, enumerated 
upon another page, which, however, are much less numerous. There 
are many persons here who follow trapping as a business, and who suc- 
ceed extremely well. The Hudson's Bay Company extends its opera- 
tions, to this country also, where in fact, it obtains a greater portion, of its 
annual collections of peltries. An edict was recently issued by the gov- 
ernment of California, which required that company to discontinue the 
business of trapping in that country; so far, however, it had proved en- 
tirely inoperative. The trappers, of that company, were still trapping, 
in that country when I left, and their labors were attended with extraor- 
dinary success. Much more regard is here had, to the preservation of the 
fur-bearing animals; a governmental regulation exists, which requires 
the trappers to take them, with strict reference to the proper season, which 
has tended very much, to prevent their diminution. The game, of the 
Eastern section, is very much the same, as that in the Western section, 
with very few exceptions, all the different species found in that, are also 
found in this section. In addition, however, to the game found in that 
section, the white bear, the mountain sheep and the buffalo, are also 
found, in this section. The latter of which, are here found in much 
greater numbers, than in any other portion of the country, west of the 
Rocky mountains. In many portions of the country, the plains and hills 
are literally covered with them. Several tribes of the Indians here, as 
in Oregon, subsist almost entirely upon the beef of the buffalo, which 
they are enabled to obtain, in any desired quantities. 

The feathered animals, of the Western section, consist chiefly, of geese, 
ducks, brants, cranes, gulls, pelicans, plovers, eagles, hawks, ravens, 
woodpeckers, pheasants, partridges, grouse, snow-birds, blue-birds, black- 
birds, and robins, with a great variety of other birds, common in the 
States. The former of these, and especially the water-fowls, are vastly 
numerous, particularly upon the coast, and in the vicinity of the rivers, 
bays and harbors. During the winter and spring seasons, all the various 
lakes, bays and rivers, as well as the low lands, and wheat fields, throughout 
the whole country, are literally covered with the various water-fowls, which 
appear to have convened here from all the northern world. In many por- 
tions of the country, during these seasons, they congregate in such immense 
numbers, that their unceasing confusion proves noisome in the extreme, lo 
the settlers. The wheat fields and the low lands are their usual haunts, dur- 
ing the winter, when hundreds of them, may be killed, in a few hours, I 
was informed that one man, could at any time, during the winter, obtain feath- 
ers sufficient for a feather-bed, from those which he could kill in a very few 
hours. When passing down the Sacramento river, and crossing the bay 
of St. Francisco. I have frequently been greatly annoyed, by the almost 
deafening, tumultuous and confused noises, of the innumerable flocks, of 
geese and ducks, which were continually flying to and fro, and at times, 
blackening the very heavens with their increasing numbers, and making 
the serial region ring, v/itii their tumultuous croaking and vehement 


squeaking. During the winter season, California is truly, a noisy, turbu- 
lent region ; all the northern world, seems to have given up, its million* 
of the feathered tribes, which are here in universal convention, having- 
complete possession, of the entire country. However noisome the in- 
creasing numbers, and the confused noise of these multifarious proprietors 
of California, may be to the settlers, there is no prospect of any diminu- 
tion of either, for they are assembled here, by millions, merely to propa- 
gate their kind, and to teach their squeaking young, the art of noisy clamor. 
The fowls of the Eastern section, are, with very few exceptions, the same 
as those of the Western section ; yet many kinds found m that section, are 
found in much less abundance in this, especially the various water-fowls, 
but compared to any portion of the States, they would ,be called very 
abundant. As they congregate in this region, merely to enjoy its de- 
lightful climate, and propagate their kind, it is said, that there are nu- 
merous places, where many bushels of their eggs, may be obtained in a 
few hours. This, however, is the case only in the Western section, where 
I have no doubt, but that it occurs, for to my own knowledge, as before 
remarked, there are many places, where the ground is literally covered, 
and the whole heavens completely blackened, with innumerable flocks, 
of countless numbers, of geese, ducks, brants, cranes and all the various 
noisy tribes, of all the feathered creation. 

The fish and fisheries, of this country, will next, receive a passing no- 
tice, the former of which, are unusually plentiful, in the V/estern section, 
consisting, cheifly, of salmon, salmon-trout, cod, sturgeon, flounders, carp, 
perch, ray, lampreys, smelt and eels. A very great variety of shell fish, 
such as clams, oysters, crabs and muscles, abound, in all the various bays 
and inlets in the greatest profusion. Whales are also very numerous- 
everywhere upon the coast, and even in many of the different bays. 
There are various kinds of the salmon, which are the most numerous, 
and much the best fish, found in this country, or perhaps in any other 
country, for I am of the opinion, that they are much the finest fish, any 
where taken. They are much superior to the salmon of the States, both 
in flavor and size. Their usual weight is from ten, to fifty pounds, and 
their length from eighteen inches, to four feet. These, as well as the 
various other kinds enumerated, abound in all the various rivers of the 
interior, and in all the different inlets and bays, where they are taken at 
any season of the year, but they are much more abundant, during the 
spring and autumn, at which seasons, all the waters are literally full of 
them, which is evinced by their incessant leaping and plunging. They 
commence to run in April and October, of each year, each run continuing 
about two months, during all which seasons, both Indians and whites are 
more or less employed, in securing their supplies for the residue of th6 
year, but they are taken chiefly, by the Indians, who here, as in Oregon, 
take them by a great variety of methods. They take them chiefly, how- 
ever, with seines, which they manufacture, and which are of a very good 
kind, answering all the purposes of the ordinary seines, used by our peo- 
ple. With these, they are able, at certain times, to take fifteen or twenty 
barrels, at a single draught, which they repeat with surprising rapidity. 
Many of the Mexicans subsist almost entirely upon them, while many of 
the Indians, live wholly upon them, especially, during the seasons of their 
greatest abundance. They are used by the whites in their fresh, dried,^ 
or pickled state, while the Indians use them, in their fresh or dried state 


only. They are dried and prepared here, as in Oregon, merely by ex- 
posing them to the rays of the sun, without the aid of salt, or any other 
preservative, as ample preservative properties arc found in the extreme 
purity of the atmosphere. The oysters are rather smaller, than those 
found upon the Atlantic side, but they are of a very excellent kind, being 
inferior in flavor and in deliciousness to none. They also, as well as the 
clams and muscles, are taken both by the Mexicans and Indians, in very 
great quantities, which also form a principal item of their food. Whales 
are also vastly numerous, not only in the ocean, but also in most of the 
bays and inlets, and especially, in the bay of Monterey, where many are 
very frequently seen, even from the streets, alternately leaping and plung- 
ing, in the different portions of the bay; first exhibiting their ponderous 
heads, throwing up vast torrents of water, which are falling in misty 
spray, then plunging and sinking slowly away, displaying their pro- 
tracted backs, and flirting their tails, amid the convulsed waters, they dis- 
appear. While some are plunging, others are leaping, as some appear, 
others disappear, and thus, is the otherwise calm and Pacific ocean, kept 
in incessant commotion. What adds the greatest importance to these 
scenes, is the fact, that they are constantly being enacted, and that too, 
in the very midst of the ships, barques and brigs, in harbor, and in full 
view of the gentlemen in their offices, and the ladies in their parlors. 
A strange commingling of oceanic and terrestrial beings ! The fish of 
the Eastern section, are not as numerous as those of the Western section, 
nor is there the same variety in that section, yet, all the rivers of that 
section, also abound with several kinds of the salmon, salmon trout, carp, 
herring, perch, ray and flounders. The great salt lake, of that section, 
is also, said to abound with a great variety of excellent fish. The fish- 
eries of the Western section, are innumerable, and inexhaustible, and 
they are found in every portion of the country, both upon the coast, and 
in the interior, but from the very partial demand for the fish, the various 
fisheries, have not been brought into requisition. The principal fisheries^ 
which are now used, to much extent, are those upon the different rivers. 
and which are usually possessed, by the various tribes of Indians. It is 
thought that the fisheries of this country, will not be found inferior to 
tiiose of Newfoundland, and they certainly will not, in reference to their 
numbers, the quality of their fish, or their inexhaustibleness. 



Settlement and improvement. Forts ; description of. New Helvetia ; des- 
cription of; Capt. Gutter in charge of Suspicions of Mexicans. De- 
termination to expel Capt. Sutter from the country ; that purpose aban- 
doned. Pretended friendship of Mexicans. Character of Capt. Sutter ; 
his military taste ; his kindness and hospitality. Ross ; description of 
Military posts; number of; number of soldiers and cannon at each; ineffi- 
cacy of. Military strength; deficiency of. Missionary stations; number of; 
how conducted; instruments oj cruelty and oppression. Towns; description 
of. Foabalo below-. Monterey ; present seat of governm.ent, Poabalo above. 
Yerba Buena; trading establishment of the Hudson^ s Bay Company at; 
Mr. Ray in charge; his courtesy and hospitality. Sonoma; beautiful 
situation of. Settlements disconnected with the forts, missions and towns. 
Settlement upon the Sacramento; composed chiefly of Americans ; prosper- 
ous condition of. Improvements; buildings; fencing. Mills; number of; 
by whom owned. Steam saw-mill. Steam fouring-mill. Water power; 
extent of New era in improvements. 

The settlements and improvements are, chiefly, in connection with the 
different forts, military posts, and missionary stations, and at the various 
towns, all of which are confined entirely, to the Western section. Of 
these, I shall first notice, the forts and military posts, of the former of 
which, there are but two, one of which, is called New Helvetia, and the 
other is called Ross. Both of these are now in the possession of, and 
owned by. Captain Sutter, the former of which he built, and the latter he 
purchased of the Russians, New Helvetia, the most important of these, 
is situated in a well chosen position, on the south side of the Sacramento, 
about one mile from its south bank, 100 miles, east by north, from Yerba 
Buena, at latitude 38° 45' 42" north. In form, it is a sexangular ob- 
long, its greatest length being 428 feet, and its greatest width, 178 feet; 
233 feet of its length being 17'< feet wide, and the residue but 129Jeet wide. 
It is inclosed by permanent "adobie" walls, which are 18 feet high, and 
three feet thick, with bastions at the corners, the walls of which, are five 
feet thick. It is entered by three large swinging gates, one of which, is 
on the north, another on the south side, and the third at the east end. — 
The first of these, is entirely inaccessible from without, because of a 
deep, and impassable ravine, which extends the whole length of the fort, 
on the north ; on each side of the second, is a platform, upon each of 
which, a nine-pounder is planted, and the third is completely commanded, 
by one of the bastions. There are two bastions, each of which has four 
guns, two nine-pounders, and two six-pounders ; and in all, there are 
twelve guns, of different caliber. The inner building of this fort, con- 
sist of a large and commodious residence, for the^various officers, in con- 
nection with which, is a large kitchen, a dining room, two large parlors, 
the necessary offices, shops and lodging apartments. Besides these, 
there is also a distillery, a horse-mill and a magazine, together with bar- 
racks, for the accommodation of, at least, one thousand soldiers. In con- 
nection with the fort, there are one thousand acres of land, under a good 
state of cultivation, and upon which are all the necessary buildings, to- 


gether with an extensive tannery. Of this fort, Captain Sutter has charge, 
in person ; he has about one hundred men, constantly in his employment, 
who annually sow one thousand acres of wheat, and have charge of his 
numerous herds, which, in all, amount to about twenty thousand head. 
Those, having charge of the various herds, are, generally, Indians, but 
his building and farming, are superintended chiefly by foreigners. He 
also has, a large number of experienced trappers, in his service, who 
have charge of about one thousand traps, and from whose services, he 
annually realizes several thousand dollars. 

Besides the business thus carried on, by the Captain, he is also doing 
a very extensive business, in a military way. All the usual military for- 
malities, are regularly observed ; sentinels are always kept out, day and 
night, who invariably give the captain, timely notice of the approach of 
persons, during the day, or of the slightest movement, of any thing, in 
the human form, during the night. Here too, the natives are being in- 
structed, in the art of war ; forty or fiAy of them, are taken and instructed, 
for several months, and until they have acquired, a general knowledge, 
of military tactics ; when they are turned off, and forty or fifty others are 
taken, who are drilled and trained, in the same manner, when they are 
also dismissed, and others taken in their stead, and so on continually. — 
The Mexicans, not being able to divine the cause, of all this military 
parade, at one time, became very suspicious, that all was not right; and 
finally, their suspicions were increased to such an extent, that they deter- 
mined to effect the captain's unceremonious expulsion, from the country, 
of which determination, he was duly advised. The captain took the mat- 
ter under consideration, and soon determined, to resist any attempted en- 
croachment, upon his rights, and accordingly'-, informed the government 
of his determination. The government, however, proceeded to make its 
preliminary arrangements, for his expulsion, preparatory to which, a spy 
was sent, in the disguise of a friend, to the captain's fort, in order to ascer- 
tain his true position, as to vulnerableness, and means of resistance. — 
Upon the arrival of this mysterious visitor, an enemy in disguise, "a 
wolf in sheep's clothing," or a Mexican in maiib s clothing, the captain 
soon suspected his object, and informed him, that he must immediately 
depart, or he would, at once, order him to be put in irons, and, at the 
same time, informed him, that if the government, whose spy he was, 
thought proper to attempt his expulsion from the country, he was per- 
fectly willing, at any time, to test its ability to accomplish that object. — 
This hypocritical visitor, now made rather an irregular disappearance, amid 
the jeers, taunts and threats, of the captain's men, and if he was not pre- 
pared to report to his owners^ that the captain was invincible, he was (uUy 
prepared to report, that the captain thought himself invincible, which 
would be precisely the same thing, as far as Mexicans were concerned. 
The government, finding, that the captain was not to be deterred, and that 
an attempt to effect his expulsion, would be attended with dangerous con- 
sequences, of course^ abandoned the undertaking. Ever since that time, 
the government has treated the captain with extraordinary kindness, be- 
stowing upon him, the office of alcalde, and other little governmental 
favors, designed to repair the cloak of hypocrisy, which had been so 
seriously lacerated, in the above transaction. The truth, however, is, 
that the Mexicans look upon the captain, with much more than ordinary 
suspicion, notwithstanding iheir pretended friendship ; but whether they 


are justified, in viewing the captain, with some little suspicion, I do not 
pretend to say, as to that, each will judg-e for himself. Having heard 
thus much, in reference to this gentleman, many might be led to inquire 
more particularly, as to the captain; I will therefore remark, that he is 
a Swede by birth ; he emigrated, at an early day, to the United States, 
where he resided for several years, residing most of the time, at St. Louis 
and St. Charles, in Missouri, and in 1839, he emigrated to California, 
where he has since remained. His military taste, as well as his mili- 
tary title, was derived from his service in Bonapart's army, to which 
he was attached, for several years. A more kind and hospitable gentle- 
man, it has seldom been my fortune to meet. Such is his treatment of 
all foreigners, who visit him, that when they leave him, they are com- 
pelled to do so, with much regret, and under many obligations, for his 
continued, untiling and gentlemanly attentions. 

Ross is the other fort, to which I have alluded, as belonging to captain 
Sutter; it is situated on the coast, near the bay of Bodaga, at latitude 38° 
55' 42" north. It is about sixty rods square, and is inclosed by a strong, 
wooden wall, wliich is two feet thick, and eighteen feet high. The interior 
buildings consist of two large and commodious dwelling houses, for the 
officers, two magazines, store-houses, a prison, a chapel, shops for the vari- 
ous mechanics, and barracks for several hundred soldiers. In connection 
with the fort, there is a large farm, about two hundred acres of which, are in 
a good state of cultivation, and upon which, there is a good orchard, a vino- 
yard, ahorse and wind-mill and several dwelling-houses, stables and barns. 
Agriculturalpursuits, and the rearing of herds of cattle, horses and sheep, 
are the chief objects of attention, at this establishment. Such persons 
are in charge, from time to time, as the captain designates for that purpose. 
Here as at New Helvetia, large numbers of Indians are also employed, 
who conduct the agricultural operations, and who have charge of the va- 
rious herds. A great abundance of fruit, such as apples, pears, and 
peaches, is here, annually produced, and perhaps, in greater quantities, 
than in any other portion, of the country. 

The military posts, which belong to the government, I will now merely 
enumerate, without giving a description of each, for to do which, would 
extend these pages far beyond their present limits, and would, perhaps, 
convey no very important additional information. All that is deemed ne- 
cessary, then, will be merely to give the names, of each post, together 
with the number of soldiers and cannons at, and in connection with each. 
At Paobalo below, there are thirty soldiers, and twelve cannons; at St. 
Deigo, there are twelve soldiers, and two cannons ; at Santa Barbara, 
there are twenty soldiers, and six cannons ; and at Monterey, there are two 
hundred soldiers, and twelve cannons ; at Santa Cruz, six soldiers and 
two cannons ; at St. Joseph, six soldiers, and two cannons ; at St. Fran- 
cisco, fifteen soldiers, and six cannons ; and at Sonoma, thirty soldiers, 
and five cannons. None of these are forts, nor are they properly, military 
posts ; they consist in nothing more, than a few men being stationed, at 
the different towns, and missions above enumerated, with a few guns at 
each, which, however,are never in order for use, nor are they designed for 
use. The object of these posts, as they are called, appears, merely to be, 
to awe the lower order of Mexicans, into submission to the law, and the 
observance of order, and an empty gun, answers that purpose, as well as 
a loaded one. As an instance of Uie inaptitude, of these posts, for the 



proseciUion of successful warfare, citlier offensive, or defensive, I will re- 
late an occurrence, wSiich was narrated to ino, by a gentleman at St. 
Francisco. Upon the arrival of an American man of war, into the bay 
of St. Francisco, a messenger was dispatched, from on board, to the mil- 
itavy post at that place, for the purpose of ascertaining, whetlier the ofli- 
cer in command, would return a salute, if fired from ihe ship. The offi- 
cer hesitated for a moment, but finally replied, that he was entirely out of 
powder, but tliat he would endeavor to get some, and return the salute. 
He made several unsuccessful efibrts, at the difierent stores, where it ap- 
peared that neither himself, nor his government, had any credit, but final- 
ly, my informant furnished him with the powder, upon a credit, when the 
officer repaired to iiis post, and after working with an old, rusiy cannon, a 
few hours, he informed the commander of the ship, that all was in read- 
iness. But upon attempting to return the salute, tiie officer found that all 
was not quite ready, for it was with the greatest difllcuUy, that he could 
succeed in discharging ihe rusty gun, but he did finally succeed, and thus, 
the honor of the nation stands unimpaired, but its credit is mucii impair- 
ed, for the powder was not paid for, up to the last accounts. From the 
foregoing, the actual military strength, of California, is seen to be, three 
hundred and nineteen //i^ii«?i soldiers, forty-seven rush/ cannons, and no 
ammunition. In addition to the military force, above enumerated, about 
six or seven hundred troops might, possibly, be raised in an extreme case, 
M'hich would make the entire ibrce of this country, about one thousand 
Mexicans troops. The soldiery of this country, like that of all other 
parts of Mexico, consists of the very lowes: order of Mexicans, who are, 
in fact, nothing more nor less, than the most degraded and wretched, of 
those timid and inert aborigines. 

The missionary stations will next, receive a passing notice, which \\\\\ 
consist, merely of a statement, of tiieir number, and a general description 
of them, collectively. In all, there arc; twenty missionary stations, ten 
of which, are very valuable in lands, horses, cattle and vineyards, the 
residue of which, are valuable only in lands and vineyards. These are 
all, extensive establishments, which are occupied by the catholic priests, 
and others, ostensibly for the purpose of christianizing the Indians, im- 
mense numbers of whom, are connected with each station, and who are 
under the absolute control, of the most despotic and inhuman priesthood. 
The practical effect of these establishments has, tiuis fiir, been, to crowd those 
vast plains and valleys, in their vicinity, with countless herds of large, fine 
catde, horses and sheep, to plant and grow extensive vineyards, ol' tliose 
delicious grapes, and to erect spacious, and palace -like edifices, for the 
accommodation of those religious oppressors, who are there thought to 
be, the authorized keepers, not only of the consciences of men, but also 
of the keys of both heaven and hell. A further effect of these establish- 
ments has been, not only to enslave and oppress, thousands of these tim- 
id and unsuspecting aborigines, but also to reduce all the common, and 
lower orders, of the people, to a most abject state of vassalage, and to 
stamp indellible ignorance and superstition, upon their imbecile and uncul- 
tivated minds. In order to show more fully, the vast amount of menial 
servitude, which has been, from time to time, thus forcibly imposed upon, 
the various weak and inofiensive tribes of Indians, whom fortune, or rath- 
er misfortune, has thus exposed, to the absolute despotism, of a monarchal 


priesthood, I will here, give a brief exhibit, of the extraordinary wealth 
and power, of these very devoted and praiseworthy religious instructors. 
At many of the different stations, they frequently have from five, to fif- 
teen thousand head of horses, and from ten, to thirty thousand head of 
cattle, besides many thousands of sheep, and hundreds of hogs, all of 
which, are reared by those Indians, most of whom, have been dragged, 
forcibly into their service. So numerous are the herds, reared at many 
of these stations, and so little do these profligate priests, regard the toil 
and labor, which their rearing has cost the poor, and oppressed natives, 
that they have, in many instances, required the Indians to kill many thou- 
sands of them, merely for their hides. I was informed by several respec- 
spectable foreigners, that there was an instance, but a few years 
since, of one of those priests' causing twenty thousand head, of large, 
fine cattle to be killed for the hides only, leaving their tallow and beef, at 
the disposal of the various carnivorous animals, which there abound, in 
countless numbers. In connection with most of these stations, there are 
also, large vineyards, containing from five to fifteen acres of thrifty vines, 
producing a superabundance of large and delicious grapes, from which 
vast quantities of the most excellent wine are extracted, and always kept 
on hand, for the use and benefit, of the more than regal priesthood. 
Buildings of various kinds are, erected in connection with each of these 
stations, among which, are not only the magnificent residences of the 
priests, but also all other buildings, the erection of which, either the 
convenience or the pride of the priests, happens to suggest. Among those, 
the erection of which, is suggested by their pride, are of course, many 
magnificent, and vastly expensive churches, which are well supplied 
with golden images, which are held by many, as the mere insignia of the 
Divine presence, while many others, who are the more ignorant, view 
them not as mere images, but as so many Gods in reality. It is estima- 
ted, that the entire wealth, of all these missionary settlements, including 
the herds and lands, together with all the various improvements, amounts 
to about four hundred thousand dollars, which immense amount, has been 
extracted, either from the helpless and defenceless aborigines, in forced 
labor, or from the ignorant and superstitious Mexicans, in the exaction of 
unholy tithes. 

There have been numerous mstances, of those missionary gen,'- 
eraVs, having armed companies, of Mexicans and subdued Indians, whom 
they have sent out, for the purpose of dragging the defenceless, naked 
natives to the missions, with no other view, than that of enslaving them, 
but ostensible M'ith the laudible view of christianizing them, which, by 
the by, affords them a very plausible pretext, for the accomplishment of 
their inhuman purposes. These companies meeting with the least resis- 
tance, have, frequendy, fired upon their unoffending victims, and slain 
them by scores, and thus, in the extreme anxiety of these priests, in ref- 
erence to the future welfare, of these poor and benighted beings, and in 
their most divine and christian determination, to save human souls, they, 
as far as they have the power, destroy both soul and body. To quiet the 
consciences of these bloody tyrants, religion is brought to their aid. They 
insist, that, notwithstanding all the apparent oppression, outrage and 
death, which they are daily inflicting upon the natives, yet it is a great 
blessing to them, for the sooner the finally obstinate are cut off, the 
better for them, as their longer continuance on earth, only enhan- 


ces their guilt here, and increases their punishment hereafter; and the 
converted are paid, more than a hundred fold, for all their sufferings and 
deprivations, by being permitted to share the never-ending joys of heaven, 
with their cruel oppressors. These are some of the many blessings, re- 
sulting to those whom they convert; and they do really convert them, 
but not to Christianity ; they convert them to their owri use ; a clear case 
of trover and conversion. These flagrant oppressions are not confined to 
the Indians, but they are extended, in a greater or less extent, to all the 
Mexicans, which may be seen, from an occurrence which I will now re- 
late. Upon the decease of a very elderly, and extremely wealthy farmer, 
in the northern part of California, the priests applied to the heirs, for an 
appropriate dividend of the property of the deceased, which was one 
tenth of the entire estate. The deceased had for several years, refused 
to pay tithes to the priest, and his heirs followed his example, and also re- 
fused to pay the tithes, because of which, the priests became so highly 
•offended, that they refused absolutely, to perform the ordinary religious 
rites, or to permit the friends of the deceased, to inter the corpse within 
the consecrated grounds. According to the superstitions, of these people, 
to inter the corpse elsewhere, and especially, " without the benefit of the 
clergy," would be tantamount, not only to excluding the spirit of the de- 
ceased, from the joys of heaven, but also, to heaping upon it, all of the 
woes of hell. This thought, the friends of the deceased, could not, for a 
moment, endure, consequently, they at once, proposed to pay the tithes, 
and thereby, secure the immediate interment of the body, and ultimate 
happiness of the spirit of their deceased friend ; but, as astonishing as it 
may appear, the priests now refused to receive a tenth, but demanded one 
fifth of all the property of the decedent. With this most unreasonable, 
and unjust demand, the heirs of the deceased, of course, refused to com- 
ply, but embalmed and preserved the body, as they best could, until they 
could apply to the governor, who was then, about four hundred miles 
from that place. A courier was accordingly dispatched, to the residence 
of the governor, where he arrived in a few days, when all the facts, and 
attending circumstances, having been made known to the governor, he 
immediately, issued his edict, requiring the priest, who resided in the 
neighborhood of the deceased, not only to yield his assent, to the inter- 
ment of the corpse, in the consecrated ground, but also, to perform the 
accustomed saving rites, and that too, in his own proper person. This 
edict reached the obstinate divine, in a very few days, who upon receiving 
which, immediately, though very reluctandy, proceeded to the discharge 
of the important duty, imposed upon him by the governor., not of the uni- 
verse, but of California, Notwithstanding three weeks had elapsed, 
since the death of the deceased, the burial now took place, within the 
consecrated grounds, and under all the clerical pomp and parade, which 
.are customary, upon such occasions. Thus the blessings of heaven were 
secured; the woes of hell averted; the heirs were permitted to retain, 
their rightful property ; and, for once, the priests in all their might, were 
subjected to an inglorious defeat, even in California. The Mexicans are 
now discovering that no good, but much evil is arising from, those mis- 
sionary establishments, consequently, they have determined to convert 
them to their own use, which in truth, they have absolutely done, in one 
or two instances. A large majority, of all the Californians, are much op- 
posed to the existence of these institutions, the consequence of which, 


will eventually be, that, as they are public property, they will be made 
available, and converted to the public good, golden images and all. This 
would, undoubtedly, be perfectly right, for they are now, nothing more nor 
less, than powerful engines, of high-handed oppression, relenUess cruelty, 
and unremitting sinfulness. 

There are but five towns in this country, all of which are situated upon, 
or in the vicinity of the coast. The largest of these is called Poabalo, 
which is situated near latitude 33 deg. north, a few miles east from the 
coast. It contains a population, of about fifteen hundred, consisting chiefly 
of Mexicans and Indians. There are very few foreigners at this place, 
even fewer, than there are at several of the smaller towns. It contains 
about two hundred buildings, which are small, and otherwise inferior, 
the walls of which, are generally, constructed of "adobies;" which are 
large dried brick, and the roofs chiefly of tiles; they are but one story 
high, though many of them, are very convenient. Although this town is 
the largest found in this country, yet from the fact of its being situated in 
the interior, it is of much less importance, than those which 1 shall sub- 
sequently describe. In point of population, Monterey is the second town, 
but from its situation upon the bay of Monterey, and from its being the 
seat of government, it is a much more important town than any other in 
the country. It is situated on the south side, of the bay of Monterey, in 
full view of the ocean, and near latitude 37 deg. north, containing a pop- 
ulation of about one thousand, which consists, principalh', of Mexicans 
and Indians. Including those within its suburbs, it contiiins about one 
hundred buildings, the walls of which, are also chi^^fly constructed of: 
"adobies," and the roofs of tile. These buildings, like those of Poabalo, 
are also very cheaply constructed, and are, generally, but one story high,, 
yet the governor's house, and those of several of the foreigners, are ex- 
ceptions to this; that of the governor, especially, is rather a spacious and. 
convenient dwelling. There are many more foreigners at this place, 
than at any other town in the country. They consist of Americans, 
Englishmen and Frenchmen, but they are chiefly Americans. This 
town is situated upon one of the most beautiful sites for a town, or even 
for a city, that I have ever beheld; being a gently imdulating plain, with 
a single, small pine or oak. intersp'^rscd here and there, without any un- 
dergrowth, surrounded by a vast interior, of fertile plains and valleys,^ 
and in full view of rolling billows, and the lashing surf, of that unbound-' 
ed ocean; it wears a most picturesque and grand appearance. This is,3 
in all respects, a most delightful and favorable site, for a great commercial 
emporium, as which it is undoubtedly, destiiiated ultimately, to be occU' 
pied. The third town, in point of population, is Poabalo, which is the 
same name as that given the first town mentioned; they arc distinguished, 
however, by the addition of above and below, that being called Poabalo 
below, and this Poabalo above. It is situated about four leagues from 
the coast, north northeast from Monterey, and near latitude 37 deg. and 
20 min. north. Including Mexicans, Indians and foreigners, it has a 
population, of about five hundred, which consists,chiefly, of Mexicans and 
Indians. There are fewer foreigners at this town, than at any other in 
the country, in proportion to the population, unless, perhaps, there may 
be fewer at Poabalo below. The buildings of this town, like those of 
Monterey and Poabalo below, are small, and cheaply constructed, the 
walls of which, are of "adobies," and the roofs of tiles. In all, there are 


about seventy buildings, among which, there are a few framed dwelling- 
houses, which are chiefly situated in the suburbs, and are principally 
owned by foreigners. 

I'he only towns remaining to be noticed, are Yerba Buena and Sono- 
ma, the former of which, is the fourth town in reference to its population, 
but it is the second, if not the first, in point of local positiou. Yerba Bu- 
ena is the Spanish name, given this place, which signifies, in the English 
language, good herb, and which was given it, because of a certain herb's 
growing, in great abundance, in its vicinity. This place, however, among 
3ie foreigners, has always borne the name of St. Francisco, which name, 
it will be most likely, to retain. It is located on the north side, of the 
bay of St. Francisco, about two miles from the entrance of that bay, near 
latitude 38 deg. north, containing a population of about two hundred, 
which consists of Mexicans and Indians, but there are more foreigners at 
this place, than at any other town in the country, in proportion to the 
population. It contains about fifty buildings, which, unlike those of the 
other towns enumerated, are, chiefly, wooden buildings, which is owing 
to the fact of their having been built, by the foreigners. This is a very 
delightful site for a town, but it is rather limited in extent, it being but 
about eighty rods, from the bay, to the base of the range of hills, which 
lie between it and the ocean. That portion of the site which lies between 
the bay and the hills, is a beautiful, giadually undulating plain, immedi- 
ately in front of which, is an e.xlensive and safe harbor, in which hun- 
dreds of ships, of the largest class, may ride in perfect safety. This situ- 
ation, although limited, may very easily be extended, to a sufficient ex- 
tent, with the trivial expense, of a few excavations and other improve- 
ments. The extensive and secure anchorage, in the vicinity of this situ- 
ation, as well as its proximity to the entrance, and to the coast, has thus 
far, given it the preference, to the numerous other sites, which are found 
at various points, upon this great bay. The most extensive and secure 
anchorage, is to be found, in almost every portion of this bay, in connec- 
tion with which, are numerous situations for towns and cities, which are 
of large extent, and extraordinary beauty. In view of these considera- 
lions, I am inclined to the belief, that some other point, which is more 
advantageously situated, and more extensive, will, eventually, be selected 
as the situation, of that great commercial emporium, which is, beyond a 
doubt, destined, at no distant period, to be reared up, at some point upon 
that great inland sea. The importance of the site upon which Yerba 
Buena is situated, must readily be seen, for although, it is not the most 
eligible site, which may be found upon that bay, yet, as it is the first 
town commenced in that vicinity, it may, for that reason alone, acquire a 
lasting preference, over all other, even more favorable situations. The 
Hudson''s Bay Company having seen, the superior importance, of that 
section of country, located at that place, at an early day, where it now 
has an extensive trading establishment, at vi', a very extensive trade, 
is now carried on, both with the Mexicans and the foreigners. The gen- 
tleman in charge of that establishment, is Mr. Raye, who is not only a 
very intelligent bnsiness man, but also an honorable, kind and hospitable 
gentleman. He receives and entertains foreigners with the utmost kind- 
ness and attention and without regard to their national origin, his unre- 
ijiitting attentions are bestowed upon them, while they remain at Yerba 
BuQtia; and even when they take their departure, this gentleman is seep 


waving his hat, in tokens of kind remembrance, and lasting friendship, 
Sonoma is the only town, which remains unnoticed, and which is situated 
on the north side of the bay of St. Francisco, near latitude 38 deg. and 
20 min. north. It contains about twenty wooden and "adobie" buildings, 
with a population of about one hundred, consisting of Mexicans and In- 
dians. The site occupied by this place, is a most beautiful and fertile, 
though small valley, m some part of which, there will, most likely, event- 
ually be a town of some considerable importance. 

The principal settlements, which are disconnected with the forts, mis- 
sions and towns, are chiefly within ten or twelve leagues of the coast, 
with the exception of those upon, and in the immediate vicinity, of the 
Sacramento, which are from ten to fifty leagues from the coast, and which 

are the most extensive of all the interior settlements of California. 

These settlements are made up, almost entirely, of foreigners, and chiefly, 
of Americans, consisting of about two hiwidred persons, thirty-three of 
whom, arrived with me, in that country, in the autumn of 1843, but the 
greater portion of them, had resided there for several years previous. 
They all have fine herds of cattle and horses, with farms, under a good 
state of cultivation, upon which, they grow a great abundance of wheat, 
corn, oats and flax, as well as a great variety and superabundance of 
vegetables, and that too, with very little labor or expense. Many of these 
settlers are in very prosperous circumstances, and they are all doing ex- 
tremely well, considering the very short period, of their residence in 
that country. They usually sow annually, several hundred acres of 
wheat, from which they are not only able to supply themselves, but also 
to supply all the emigrants who are annually arriving, as well as to fur- 
nish much for exportation. All the farmers, throughout the diflferent 
portions of the country, are succeeding extremely well ; they all grow 
considerable grain, and especially wheat, but they devote their chief at- 
tention to the rearing of cattle, horses, and sheep. As has been before 
stated, many of them have, as many as fifteen or twenty thousand head 
of cattle, and as many horses, and from five to fifteen hundred sheep. 
The foreigners here, conduct their agricultural labors, very much as they 
do in the states, but, their improvements are materially different ; they 
very seldom construct rail fences, as they find it is less expensive,'to in- 
close their lands by ditches, or to employ a few Indians to guard their 
crops, until they are matured and harvested. Crops are thus very easily 
protected, as the country is but sparsedly settled, and as the plains and 
valleys, everywhere abound, with oats and clover, so that there is very 
little inducement, for the various herds to intrude upon the cultivated 
lands. In the present thinly settled state of the country, an Indian will 
efl^ectually guard, a hundred acres; hence crops are protected,in this man- 
ner, with much less expense, than they could be by fencing. Fencing, 
by ditching, is attended with much less expense, than fencing in the ordi- 
nary manner, not because timber cannot be obtained, but because the In- 
dians perform all labor of that kind, with much expertness, and because 
they are entirely unacquainted with the business of making rails. The 
buildings, upon the various farms, here and throughout all the interior 
like those in the towns, are, chiefly, of "adobies," which are found, by 
experience, to make much the best buildings. These buildings are pre- 
ferred for various reasons ; they are much less expensive, and they are 
much cooler, and more pleasant in the summer, and warmer in winter, 


than either those made of stone, the ordinary brick, or of wood. But the 
chief circumstance, which gives them the preference, is that the Indians 
are able to perform all the labor, in their construction. The roofs are 
either of tiles or shingles, and the first floors are, generally, of "adobies," 
of the same size and kind, as those of which the v/alls are constructed. 
The farmers find all the materials, for this kind of buildings, wherever 
they wish to build, and by calling a few Indians to their aid, they are 
able, at any time, to complete a very comfortable building, of this kind, 
in a very few days. This species of building, is thought to be equally 
as permanent and durable, as either those constructed of brick or stone, 
especially in a climate of so very little rain, and of such extTaoidinary 
dryness and aridity. The same kinds of buildings, I find, are used, in all 
the southern portion of Mexico, where they are much preferred, and for 
the same reason, that they are here preferred. 

All of these settlements, as well as those connected with the forts, missions 
and towns, are supplied with all the means of subsistence within themselves; 
they not only rear their own herds, grow their own grain and vegetables, 
but they also make their own cloth; and they are all supplied with flouring- 
mills, which answer all the purposes of each settlement. These mills are 
either horse-mills or wind-mills, yet they are found to answer all useful 
purposes, of all the diflferenl settlements, forts, missions and towns. These 
are the only kinds of flouring-mills,- in the country, as yet, but a steam 
flouring-mill was in contemplation, and in truth, it was commenced, and 
in a forward state of progression when I left that country Lumber is 
generally sawed by hand, as there are but few saw-mills, as yet, in the 
country. There were but two saw-mills in operation in the autumn of 
1843, one of which was owned by a Mr. Graham, and the other by a 
Mr. Yunt, both of which gentlemen, are countrymen of ours. Besides 
these, there was also a steam saw-mill, which was then, recently com- 
menced, by a Capt. Smith, who is the proprietor of the steam flouring- 
mill, before alluded to, and who is also a countryman of ours. Both of 
these mills were in a state of completion, when I left that country, the 
frimes and other wooden work, were very nearly finished ; the engine, 
and other machinery had been received, and were being erected. It was 
thought that both of these mills, would be fully completed, by the first of 
January 1843, at farthest. These mills are being erected at Bodaga, 
which has been before described, and which is a very favorable position, 
for machinery of that kind, especially, for a saw-mill, as the whole sur- 
rounding country, abounds with the most admirable timber, for lumber and 
ship-building. Here I will take occasion to remark, that the reason of 
machineries' not being established, in this country, to a greater extent, is 
not that there is not a sufiicient number of sites, favorable for that pur- 
pose, for there are very few portions of the country, but that abound with 
the most eligible sites, for extensive machinery of any kind. Many of 
those portions of the country, in the vicinity of the different bays, and 
of the coast generally, as well as those portions far in the interior, afljord 
numerous favorable situations, for extensive machinery. The only cause 
of machineries' having been introduced to so limited an extent, are, that 
the very sparce settlement, and the general inattention to the industrial 
pursuits, v/ould not, heretofore, have warranted sucli expensive enterpri- 
ses, and that, foreigners of that sterling enterprise, requsite to develope 
the resources of that delightful country, have not, until quite recently, 


turned their attention to that remote region. But now, a different state 
of things exists; a new era in the improvements of Calafornia has corn- 
uienced ; here as in Oregon, foreigners from all countries, of the most 
enterprising and energetic character, are annually arriving, selecting and 
improving the most favorable sites for towns, and selecting and securing 
extensive grants of land, in the most desirable portions of the country. 



'The popidation; amount of; consisting of foreigners, Mexicans, and In- 
dians. Foreigners; number of; where located; pecidiar character of; 
unanimity and harmony existing among. Mexicans; number of; diffeV' 
ent classes of; their character. Character of the priests; anecdotes in ref- 
erence to, Indians; number of; description of. Govenrment; form of. 
Micheltorena.^ present governor. Revolution of 1836. Alvar ado declared 
governor. Echuandra deposed. II evolutionary act ratified, by Mexico; 
cause of. Alvarado viola! es his faith. Oppression of foreigner's; im^ 
prisonment of; e.rtrHme suffering <f Forty foreigners sent in irons, to the 
City of Me.vico; their release. Neglect of our government. Alvarado 
deposed., and disgraced. Arrival of Michdtorena', his troops ; number of; 
description of ; their bravery. The judiciary ; simplicity of. Alcaldes; 
their duties. Passports ; f)r what purpose issued. ; not indespensable. 
Officers less strict with foreigners latterly, than formerly ; cause of; an- 
other cause of. Inducements to emigrants ; grants of land given ; e.vlent 
of; how applied for; prere(pii.sites. Opinion of Me:rican functionary, 
opposed to facts. Impolicy of creating distinctions between citizen. 

The entire population of Upper Cilifornia, including foreigners, Mex- 
icans and Indians, may be estimated at about thirty-one thousand human 
souls, of whom, about one thousand are foreigners, ten thousand are Mex- 
icans, and the residue are Indians. By the term foreigners, I include all 
those who are not native citizens of Mexico, whether they have become 
citizens by naturalization, or whether they remain in a state of alienage. 
They consist, chiefly, of Americans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans 
and Spaniards, but there is a very large majority of the former. The 
foreigners are principally settled at the various towns, and upon the Sa- 
cramento ; those of whom who, are located at the latter place, consist 
almost entirely of our own citizens. The foreigners of this country are, 
generally'-, very intelligent; many of them have received all the advan- 
tages of an education ; and they all possess an unusual degree of industry 
and enterprise. Those who are emigrating to that remote and almost 
unknown region, like those who are emigrating to Oregon, are, in. all 
respects, a different class of persons, from those who usually emigrate to 
our frontier. They generally, possess more than an ordinary degree of 
mtelligencCj and that they possess an eminent degree of industry, enter 


prise and bravery, is most clearly evinced, from th^ very fact, of their en- 
tering- upon this most arduous and perilous undertaking. Very few cow- 
ards ever venture voluntarily, to meet all those imaginary and real dan- 
gers, to which they are necessarily exposed, in crossing the Rocky moun- 
tains or doubling Cape Horn ; and no indolent man, even if he possess the \ 
bravery of Caesar, can ever summon the requisite energy ; and if he \ 
possess the bravery of CaBsar, and the strength and energy of Hercules, \ 
and lack the enterprise, he will have no disposition to attempt a feat,jso \ 
arduous and irksome. Hence, if he possess an unusual degree of cow- 
ardice, he dare not, if nature has supplied him with a great competency 
of indolence, he cannot ; and if he be not blessed with more than an or- 
dinary share of energy and enterprise, he will not emigrate, either to 
Oregon or California. The above gives some of the leading traits of 
character, of the foreigners of California, but extraordinary kindness, 
courtesy and hospitality, are additional traits, which they possess to an 
anusual degree. A more kind and hospitable people are nowhere found; 
they seem to vie with each other, in their kindness and hospitality to 
strangers ; and at the same time, they treat each other as brothers. Here, 
you see the citizens and subjects, of almost every nation in the civilized 
World, united by the silken chains of friendship, exerting every energy, 
and doing every thing in their power, to promote the individual and gen- 
eral welfare. Upon the arrival of a stranger among them, the question 
is not, is he an Englishman, an American or Frenchman, but is he a 
foreigner? which latter, if he is found to be, he receives all that kindness 
and hospitable attention, peculiar to the foreigners of California. These are 
truly a happy people ; among whom, no distinction of clime is recognized, 
national preferences and prejudices do not exist, religious rancor is hush- 
ed ; and all is order, harmony and peace. The sages of by-gone days, 
sighed for such scenes as here exist, but they realized them not; the 
children of fancy, dreamed their dreams of union and harmony, but the 
foreigners of California, enjoy their desired realities. 

The Mexicans diflfcr, in every particular, from the foreigners; ignorance 
and its concomitant, superstition, together with suspicion and supercil- 
iousness, constitute the chief ingredients, of the Mexican character. More 
indomitable ignorance does not prevail, among any people who make the 
least pretentions to civilization ; in truth, they are scarcely a visible grade, 
in the scale of intelligence, above the barbarous tribes by whom they are 
surrounded ; but this is not surprising, especially when we consider the 
relation, which these people occupy to their barbarous neighbors, in other 
particulars. Many of the lower order of them, have intermarried with 
the various tribes, and have resided with them so long, and lived in a 
manner so entirely similar, that it has become almost impossible, to trace 
the least distinctions between them, either in reference to intelligence, or 
complexion. There is another class, which is, if possible, of a lower or- 
der still, than those just alluded to, and which consists of the aborigines 
themselves, who have been slightly civilized, or rather domesticated. 
These two classes constitute almost the entire Mexican population, of 
California, and among them almost every variety and shade of complex- 
ion may be found, from the African black, to the tawny brown of our 
southern Indians. Although there is a great variety, and dissimilarity 
among them, in reference to their complexions, yet in their beastly habits 


and an entire want of all moral principle, as well as a perfect destitulioj> 
of all intelligence, there appears to be a perfect similarity. A more full 
description of these classes, will be found, in what is said, in reference 
to the Indians, for as most of the lower order of Mexicans, are Indians in 
fact, whatever is said in reference to the one, will also be applicable to the 
other. The higher order of the Mexicans, in point of intelligence, are- 
perhaps about equal, to the lower order of our citizens, throughout our 
western states; but anfiong these even, are very few, who are, to any ex- 
tent, learned or even intelligent. Learning and intelligence appear to be 
confined, almost entirely, to the priests, who are, generally, both learned 
r^nd intelligent. The priests are not only the sole proprietors, of the learn- 
ing and intelligence, but also, of the liberty and happiness of the people, 
all of which they parcel out to their blind votaries, with a very sparing 
hand ; and thus it is, that all the Mexican people are kept, in this state of 
degrading ignorance, and humiliating vassalage. The priests here, not 
only have the possession of the keys of the understanding, and the door 
of liberty, but they also, have both the present and ultimate happiness, of 
.these ignorant people, entirely at their disposal. Such at least, is the be- 
lief of the people, and such are the doctrines there taught by the priests. 
At times, I sympathize with these unfortunate beings, but again, I fre- 
quently think, that, perhaps, it is fortunate for the residue of m.ankind, 
that these semi-barbarians, are thus ridden and restrained, and if they are 
to be thus priest ridden, it is, no doubt, preferable, that they should retain 
their present riders. 

Notwithstanding the general learning of the priests, they are the most 
dissolute and abandoned characters of the whole communhy. They in- 
dulge, without restraint, in all the vices common to those people, ana, es- 
pecially, in those of drunkenness and gambling. To such an extent do 
they indulge in the former of these vices, that it is not unusual, to see 
them so much intoxicated, as to prevent the discharge of their ordinary 
religious duties. It may not be inappropriate here, to give one or two 
instances, which were related to me by respectable gentlemen, in Cali- 
fornia, and which, may show, to what extent, those priests, indulge in 
these vices. One Sabbath morning, as my informant was passing along 
the street, in one of those towns, he observed a priest standing at the coun- 
ter of a grocery, and in the act of satiating his artificial appetite,- not v;ith 
the delicious wine of California, but the inebriating brandy of the states, 
of which, he seemed already, to have received a surcharge, for his de- 
ranged system, appeared to be almost entirely, beyond his control. By a 
fast hold upon the counter, however, he was enabled to hold his position, 
but not to change it, though the latter appeared to be an object, which he 
had a very great anxiety to accomplish. Finally, a lad, who was evi- 
dently in search of the priest, was seen passing from grocery to grocery, 
until he fell in with the object of his search, our hero, when he informed 
him, that the people were in attendance, at the church, waiting his ar- 
rival, to which the priest replied, that it was very well, he would go, so 
saying, he took another glass of brandy, when, with the aid of the boy, 
he staggered on church-ward, with more than ordinary rapidity, as he 
had, by this time, ample propelling pov/er. But his movements were 
very irregular, v.-hich was very much owing to the inadequacy of the 
power, at the helm, which was the small lad, despite of all whose powers, 
he frequently made the most tremendous leaps and plunges, which ap- 


peared to threaten an immediate wreck. By the aid of the helmsman, 
however, and the gradual diminution of the propelling- power, that awful 
calamity was averted, and this great crafty was safely moored in the de- 
sired haven, amid the shouts of the multitude, and to the infinite joy and 
gratification of the whole crew. Whether this was the last voyage, my 
informant was not advised, but that it was not the first, he was fully ad-, 
vised, for he had witnessed several similar arrivals and departures, in 

When I shall have related one other instance of this kind, I will 
have done with this class of the Californians. The instance to which I 
allude, was related to me, in substance, by a respectable foreigner, of that 
country, who witnessed th^ whole occurrence, as here related. As my 
informant was passing in the street, of one of those towns, his attention 
was attracted to a gambling house, upon entering which, he saw four or 
five gentlemen engaged at a game of cards, among whom, were several 
officers of the government, and other gentlemen of standing, as well as a 
vfery devoted and learned priest, who appeared to be much interested in 
the game, and very much excited, not only from the efi^ects of large betting, 
but also from the effects of large drinking. V/hile my informant remain- 
ed in the room, which was about thirty minutes, he saw this religious 
personage, bet and stake, not less than one hundred dollars, and drink 
not less than three glasses of brandy. My informant now left these high 
dignitaries, about "half seas over," excepting the priest, who appeared 
not to deal in halves ; he did not appear willing to bet half of a hundred, 
to drink half of a glass of brandy, nor did he appear willing to be half 
drunk, for he was more than two thirds drunk. Very early the next 
morning, my informant passed the door of the same establishment, when, 
upon hearing unusual confusion, he again stepped in, and to his utter as- 
tonishment, he found the same gentlemen in the same condition as that 
in which he left them the evening previous, with the exception of an in- 
crease of their numbers and their excitement, the latter of v^^hich, was 
strongly indicated, by their boisterous and angry declamations, as well as 
the thunderings of their repeated stamping upon the floor, and their suc- 
cessive furious blows upon the table. A further difference, hov/ever, Vv'as, 
that the floor was strewed with the victims both of Morpheus and Bac- 
chus, amongst whom, were two priests. But our hero, who seemed to 
take every thing by the entirety, had taken the whole night, and appeared 
inclined to take the whole day; he was now in high glee, and was evi- 
dently triumphing over the fallen victim.s with whom he was surrounded. 
He had out-drunk, out-gambled, out-generaled and out-iuggled them all. 
As any new or interesting circumstance occurred, he was IVequently heard 
to exclaim, in a jocular way, "qod est in corde sobrii,estin ore cbrii," 
what soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals. In the midst of this high 
glee, and this learned display, a servant appeared, wlio informed the 
learned divine, that his attendance was now required at the church, wliere 
the people had already convened. The learned, polite and drunken di- 
vine, now arose, and thus addressed his fellow bacchanalians; "gentle- 
men, you will excuse me, for a few minutes, as I have a religious duty to 
perform, Avhen I shall have done which, I will immediately return, but 
in the mean time, go on with the game; good morning gentlemen." Of 
course, the learned prelate was excused, who having performed his re- 
ligious services, soon returned and renewed his bacchanalian revelings 


with renewed vigor. How difTerent are the priests of California from 
those of the same denomination, of christians in our own country ? There, 
a-s above seen, we find among them, the most cruel oppressors, the most 
absolute tyrants, and the most devoted and dissolute debauchees, of the 
whole land, while here, we find among the clergy of the same denomina- 
tion, not only the most humane, just and honorable citizens, but also the 
most meek and sincerely devoted christians. 

The Indian population, as before stated, amounts to about twenty thou- 
sand, most of whom, are found in the interior and mountainous regions, 
yet they are found, in greater or less numbers, in all the different val- 
leys. They are usually found, congregated in villages, in many of which, 
there are, frequently, many hundreds, and even thousands, who occupy 
small huts, of most singular construction. These huts consist of mere 
conic elevations of earth, about eight or ten feet in height, and about 
twenty feet in diameter, with a small aperture at the top of each, of about 
two feet in diameter, which affords an entrance into each ; besides which, 
there is also, an entrance at the side of each, near the surface of the 
earth. In each of these villages, there are, usually, from ten to fifty of 
this kind of primitive buildings, which are capable of accommodating, 
from ten to twenty persons. They have the external appearance, of being 
constructed entirely of earth, but upon entering them, they are found to 
be constructed, internally of timbers, \\hich sustain the earthen covering. 
The Indians of this country, are not migratory, but it is seen, that they 
have, in numerous instances, abandoned their old haunts, and re-estab- 
lished in other portions of the country, but for what cause, it is difficult 
to ascertain, with any degree of certainty, for the sites which have been 
thus abandoned, appear in many instances, to possess advantages much 
superior, to those which have been subsequently selected. As far as dan 
be ascertained, the desolating ravages of war, have been the chief causes 
of these repeated removals, for villages of fifty, or even a hundred of 
these huts, are frequently seen, which have the appearance, of having 
been their ancient haunts, but which, are now abandoned, the ground at, 
and around which, is covered with human skulls. Upon examining 
several of these huts, of these abandoned villages, I very readily found, 
that whatever the cause of this mortality, might have been, it was, evi- 
dently, inflicted upon them, when within their huts, for the earth of the 
external covering of the huts, having fallen in, was extensively intermixed 
with skulls, and other human bones. At the villages which they oc- 
cupy, there are no apparent evidences, of that extensive mortality, which 
forrnerly prevailed, to such an alarming extent among them, at their aban- 
doned villages. All of the various tribes, of this country, are found in 
their aboriginal state of barbarism, as perfectly wild and timid, as the 
herds of beasts, with which they are surrounded. Upon approaching one 
of their villages, without their previous knowledge, a scene of most ex- 
traordinary confusion, and noisy clamor is presented ; all scudding at 
once, into their earthen house', not a human soul is to be seen, excepting 
those who present their heads through the aperture at the apex, of each of 
the huts, and who are, in a most clamorous and confused manner, drawing 
upon your humanity and mercy, and begging you to spare them, collect- 
ively and individually. The nearer you approach their village, the more 
boisterous and clamorous they become, in their loud and confused appeals, 
to all the better. feelings of your nature, to spare their tribe, from the dire 


calamity, of extermination, or, r» 
which the earth may be repeoph 
amid their loud lamentations, f' 
lations, your pity and sympa^' 
elude to spare their village 
heavens resound, with thei 
These Indians are much 
found in this country, \v" 
nected with the missior 
by the by, is a very sli- 

In manyother po' 
do they wear any 
Nothing whatever 
feathers, which r 
hair, and which 
about to enga 
or grape-vine 
their bodies, 
the waist, ir 
having p 
as rude 
of thes 
ous re 




-erne interior of this counlfry, I 

hundred, of these wild, naked 

^ forests, they would leap and 

'imming across, they would 

ipon the opposite shore. — 

>ually, found upon, and in 

V upon fish, which they 

^3 many of them have 

le to kill much game. 

sh, not only in quan- 

supply all the dif- 

■>st trivial compen- 

they are of the 

erform all their 

' A very little ex- 


one military 
■» be, a milir 
^ na, who is 
He re- 
he was 
1 to his 
D fill a 


and commenced a series of indiscriminate insult, and oppression upon all 
foreigners, within his inhuman grasp ; but the foreigners, not being in- 
clined to submit, tamely, to this repeated wrong and outrage, were now in 
feeling, at least, in formidable and hostile opposition, to his supreme high- 
ness, the rebel governor. His insignificant excellency, continued his in- 
sult, cruelty and oppression, from day to day, and from month to month, 
but finally, after the lapse of about three years, perceiving that he was 
receiving his just deserts, the disapprobation and supreme contempt, of 
all foreigners, as well as that of all the better class of the Mexicans, 
now determined to make one last, desperate effort, to redeem his lost 

After consulting his own black heart, and those of some of his villain- 
ous comrades, in disgraceful, cowardly oppression ; he determined to 
adopt some means, which might terminate, either in the extermination, or, 
expulsion of all the foreigners from California, and in order to accomplish 
his fiendish purpose, he now commenced his unheard of cruelties, and 
barbarous oppressions, with renewed vigor and malignancy. His ex- 
treme and justly deserved unpopularity, had a great tendency, to prevent 
his desired success, in infamy and crime, until the autumn of 1840, when, 
by the aid of others, more skilled in low treachery, and black villainy, 
he finally, fell upon a scheme, which to some extent, effected his sinful 
and criminal purpose. The course fixed upon, was to report, among all 
the Mexicans, that the foreigners had combined, for the purpose of revo- 
lutionizing the government, and establishing a republic, and that all tlve 
preliminary measures, preparatory to the accomplishment of that object, 
were already adopted. All this, he well knew, to be absolutely false, yet 
he also knew, that the credulous and suspicious Mexicans would, very 
readily, credit it, especially, as it came from so credible a source, but not- 
withstanding the high source from which it was derived, he took particu- 
lar care, to have it well confirmed^ by three or four other malicious vil- 
lains. Lest the falsity, of this base and murderous intrigue, might be seen, 
even by the benighted rabble, his criminal excellency, was extremely cau- 
tious, to enjoin upon every Mexican, to whom he reported this base false- 
hood, that he keep the whole matter, a profound secret, and above all 
things, that he should not divulge to any foreigner, although he might be 
his most intimate friend, or even closely a.lied, by the ties of affinity or 
consanguinity. This injunction of secrecy, he well knew, to be highly 
essential to his cowardly purpose, for he was not ignorant of the fact, that- 
there were many of the foreigners, whom he had implicated, in the treason- 
ble schemes alluded to, whose words simply, would be entitled to greater 
weight, than the solemn oath of himself, and his whole fraternity; nor 
was he ignorant of the fact, that if the foreigners should acquire, the least 
knowledge, of his infamous designs, his excellency would soon, cease to 
exist as governor, or in any other manner. The whole matter was, there- 
fore, kept a profound secret, as far as the foreigners were concerned, for 
there was not one of them, in the entire country, who had the least inti- 
mation, that any thing unusual, was in contemplation. 

His ungrateful and black-hearted excellency, having accomplished his 
unholy preliminaries, now dispatched a few of his niggardly hirelings, in 
the dead of the night, to the residences of most of the foreigners through 
out the country, with orders to bring them, in irons, before his supremely 
contemptible excellency. Nothing could have been more congenial, to 


the feelings of this pusillanimous crew, than the base and cowardly en- 
terprise, in which they were about to engage ; that of attacking innocent, 
unoffending men, under cover of night; without giving them the least in- 
timation of their despicable designs, and that too, after having treated 
them, but tlie day before, with all the apparent kindness, and affected po- 
liteness, at the command of their hypocritical natures. Contemptible 
hypocritical cowards ; base midnight assassins ! In most instances, the 
first notice which the foreigners had of their approach, was a volley of 
musket balls, poured in upon them, through their windows and doors, as 
they were reposing upon their couches, with their families, in deep, mid- 
night slumber. Many of them, most manfully resisted, this unceremoni- 
ous attack, but being finally overcome by numbers, forty of them were ta- 
ken, put in irons, taken to Monterey, and delivered to that demon in hu- 
man form, his more than criminal excellency Alvarado. Here these brave 
Aiiglosaxons were dragged about, from place to place, during all the 
following day, many of them suffering most intensely, from the 
wounds which they received, the night before, and others, from the sore 
gallings of their ponderous shackles. Among them, was one Graham, 
who suffered extremely ; for having fought bravely, and desperately, 
upon the night previous, he had received several very severe wounds, 
from musket balls, the breeches of muskets, and from swords ; but he 
endured it all, with the fortitude of an American, which he is by birth ; 
a brave determined American ! These unfortunate men, still loaded with 
irons, were now thrown into dungeons, where they were confined for sev- 
eral days, suffering the most exquisite torture, from the continual gallings, 
of their massive fetters, parching thirst, and gnawing hunger. But to 
heighten their sufferings, they were all thrown together, into a little, nar- 
row, filthy dungeon, the floor of which, was the wet muddy ground, and 
into which the air was admitted only at a small aperture, at which, scarce- 
ly sufficient could be received, to sustain life. Under this cruel, oppres- 
sive treatment, many of them were rapidly sinking; and had become so 
far exhausted, that they were no longer able to stand at the little aperture, 
to avail themselves of the oxygen, essential to the support of life, but were 
actually fast declining, under the influence of the carbonic acid gas, which 
occupied the bottom of the deep, dark and wet cell. Their companions, 
now seeing their exhausted condition, immediately, took them to the aper- 
ture spoken of, where after inhaling the atmospheric air for a few min- 
utes, they were partially revived, and thus, for several days, those who 
were able, going frequently to this aperture, and those who were not able 
to stand, being carried to it, they were able to aid respiration, and to stjs^ 
tain life, though with the greatest possible difficulty, and most intent 

Having thus satiated, his more than barbarous revenge, this heartless, 
soulless wretch, alias governor, now ordered his helpless, and almost 
lifeless victims, to be loaded with additional irons, and to be shipped for 
Matzatlan, and to be taken thence, to the city of Mexico, there to be 
dealt with, as the supreme authorities might direct. Arrangements were 
accordingly made, when these now pale, emaciated and dejected men 
were dragged from their dungeons, torn from their families and friends, 
loaded with massive fetters and chains, and thrown on board the vessel, 
by which they were to be conveyed to Matzatlan, or the grave, they knew 
noijMrhich, nor had they much solicitude ;-s to the result. So violeai 


was the suffering, of these unfortunate men, that one or two of them 
Kiink under it, and died before reaching Mexico, while many others, suf- 
fered under severe illness, not only during their confinement, but also for 
months after their release, and all were reduced to an extreme state, of 
feebleness and emaciation. Upon arriving at the city of Mexico, an in- 
vestigation was instituted, not only by the Mexican authorities, but also 
by the foreign ministers, the result of which was, that they were all, at 
once, released, with a tender of a small amount of money, as a remunera- 
tion for the insults and injuries, which they had thus wrongfully sustain- 
ed. Some of them received the trivial remuneration, which was offered 
them, while others refused, absolutely, to receive so trivial a remuneration, 
and hence, have not, to this day, received a farthing. And is not this a 
gross neglect of our government, thus to permit her citizens to be chained, 
and dragged in irons, under the most cruel and barbarous treatment, suf- 
fering every thing but death, and even death itself, and that too, without 
the slightest cause, without a shadow of provocation ? The result of all 
this affair, as far as the base tyrant, the governor is concerned, is all very 
well, but by no means as he had anticipated. As before remarked, he 
acquired his ascendency forcibly, and against the will of Mexico, and the 
only reason of Mexico's suffering such an outrage upon her rights, was 
her dread of the foreigners, who adhered to him, in his treasonable ele- 
Tation. But now, finding that the foreigners had abandoned him, and 
were most bitterly opposed to him, the government availed itself of this 
opposition of the foreigners, and unceremoniously removed this ungrate- 
ful, cowardly oppressor, and, as before stated, appointed the present gov- 
ernor in his stead. And now, being thus supplanted, as the fates will 
have it, and " plane uti factum oportuit," just as it ought to be, he is every- 
where looked upon, with the most indignant contempt, not only by the 
foreigners, but also, by the Mexicans, for he has proved equally treacher- 
ous to both, and has shown himself unworthy of the confidence of either; 
the consequence of which is, that he is now to be seen wandering about, 
like a " discontented ghost," having neither talent, worth, nor power, 
sufficient to attract the attention of any human soul, he drags droanishly 
about, from place to place, unobserving and unobserved. 

Notwithstanding the complete prostration, in public opinion, of 
the treacherous monster of whom I have just spoken, the present 
governor, had many misgivings, as to the propriety and safety, of 
his attempting to enter upon this discharge, of his gubernatorial du- 
ties, in California, without a competent military force, to ensure his 
protection. Having advised the proper authorities of Mexico, of his 
fears and doubts, and some of the grounds upon which they were predi- 
cated, one thousand criminals were extracted, from the various prisons 
and committed to his charge. With this formidable band of cut-throats, 
as their brands and cropped ears showed them to be, he set out upon his 
march to the Californias, where he arrived in the fall of 1842, remaining 
in the extreme southern part, of Upper California, until the fall of 1843, 
when he collected sufficient courage, to enable him to advance to the seat 
of government. The timorous movements of the governor, and, especi 
ally, the fact of his being unwilling to venture among the Californias, 
without an armed force, for his protection, created much dissatisfaction 
among them, which became so general, at one time, that they determined 


to interpose their omnipotence, to prevent his excellency from marching 
his omnifarious troops, to the seat of government. But before I left that 
country, his generalship was permitted to march northward, and was in 
full possession of the chief town, there to be seen marching and parading 
his cropped and branded troops, about the streets, with all imaginable 
pomposity. Disease and dissertion had reduced these troops, to two hun- 
dred, before they arrived in California, but there were quite enough of 
them left, to atford some of the rarest specimens of humanity, that I have 
ever beheld. I'hey were in deed a motely crew ; some were cropped, and 
others were branded ; some were without shoes, and others were with- 
out shirts ; some had guns, others liad spears, others lances, and others 
nothing ; and the latter were equally as well armed as the former, for 
those who had guns, had no ammunition. Thus armed and equipped, this 
omnifarious soldiery, is prepared to meet, in mortal combat, even a Cae- 
sar, a Hannibal, a Bonaparte or a Washington, but they cannot be induced 
to meet a Jones. These soldiers, like all others of Mexico, are mere 
Indians, many of whom, are as perfectly wild and untutored, as the most 
barbarous savages of the forest ; yet it is with these wild, shirtless, ear- 
less and heartless creatures, headed by a few timid, soulless, brainless offi- 
cers, that these semi-barbarians, intend to hold this delightful region, as 
against the civilized world. 

The Judiciary of this government, is extremely simple ; ii is divested 
of all that complexity, peculiar to our judiciary system. The judir 
cial officers consist simply of a few alcaldes, or justices of the peace, 
who are appointed for each town, and settlement, throughout the country, 
and who have unlimited jurisdiction, in the precinct for which they are 
appointed. The chief duties of these alcaldes^ are merely to adjudge all 
trivial difficulties, which arise among the people, and \o issue passports for 
those who wish to pass from one precinct to another, and prohibit their 
passing without them. A passport, issued by the alcalde, is a mere written 
authority, given you, to pass to and from, such places as are designated, 
without limiting you to any particular time, though they always contain 
the words, valid for the time necessary, or words of similar import, and a 
request, of the alcalde, to the civil and military authorities, to permit you 
to pass unmolested. The officers are latterly, very inattentive to that 
branch of their duty, for it is very seldom now, that a foreigner is inter- 
rogated in reference to his passport; prehaps it is never the case, unless 
the foreigner is an entire stranger, and the officers have some good reason, 
to apprehend some improper conduct. In passing from place to place, 
no Mexican even spoke of my passport, unless it was, when I applied for 
its renewal, which I sometimes did, as I passed from one precinct to an- 
other, although it was not strictly necessary. Upon one occasion, when 
I applied for a passport, I remember to have spoken to the "comman- 
dante," in reference to the propriety of being thus required, like slaves, 
to obtain a permission, to pass from place to place, when he remarked, 
that the authorities were not as strict, with foreigners, in that respect, as 
tliey had formerly been, for instance, he remarked, that if I should pass 
tliroughout the entire country, the question would never be asked, wheth- 
er I had obtained a passport. The reason of this great difference, in this 
respect, he said, was that from the long residence of foreigners among 
them, they were satisfied, that they were not as evilly disposed, as they 
had formerly been supposed to be ; but the true reason is, that they have 


not the balance of power, in their favor, as they formerly had, which if 
they had, all their former hostility and barbarity, would be renewed, with 
infinite pleasure. The foreigners are annually increasing in numbers and 
power, the inevitable tendency of which, is clearly seen and understood, 
even by the Mexicans, hence it is, that foreigners are now treated with 
the utmost respect, kindness and hospitality. The bombardment of 
Vera Cruz, the triumph of Texas, and the impromptu conquest of Cali- 
fornia, by Com. Jones, have long since, taught them the propriety, of re- 
specting the rights of foreigners. 

Now, instead of that inhuman oppression, which was formerly inflict- 
ed upon foreigners, without measure and without mercy, they are treat- 
ed with all the deceptive kindness imaginable, and instead of that hostile 
opposition, which formerly existed to the emigration of foreigners to that 
country, every inducement is held out, to encourage foreign imigration. 
Large grants of land are given to each emigrant, averaging from one to 
eleven square leagues, the quantity depending upon the number of mem- 
bers, composing the applicant's family, and his means of improving, by 
building, fencing or otherwise. In order to obtain a grant of land, it be- 
comes necessary for a foreigner, first to make an application for naturaliza- 
tion, then to present a petition addressed to the governor, praying for a 
grant of the land which he may have selected, and of which, he, at the 
same time, presents a general map, representing its extent and surface. 
This being done, he is entitled to the possession of his land, and when 
the process of his naturalization is accomplished, he is entitled to his 
deed, which is made by the government, of California, under the hand 
and seal of the governor. Although the quantity of land usually granted 
is from one to eleven square leagues, yet it is seldom that either extreme 
is taken, perhaps there are no instances of any individuals' having ob- 
tained but one league, though there are some instances, of their having 
obtained eleven square leagues. There are also several grants of twenty 
or thirty square leagues ; among these extensive grants, is Captain 
Sutter's, which contains thirty square leagues, or two hundred and seven- 
ty square miles. Grants of this extent, are given only upon the condi- 
tion that the grantee settle a certain number of families upon it, within a 
certain number of years, according to the provisions of the colonization 
law, which law, however, it is said, has recently been repealed. Any 
person arriving in that country, is at liberty to take any lands which are 
not taken, or which have not been applied for, even without making any 
application for that purpose, but in such case, he is liable to be disposses- 
sed at any time, by the lands being regularly applied for, by another. All 
those who emigrated to that country, with me, settled in that manner, and 
made some extensive improvements, without having made an application 
for a title, yet they all designed to make their applications, in due time. 
The reason of their not making their application, immediately, upon their 
arrival, was, that it was, at that time, rumored, that foreigners would be 
enabled to obtain their titles, without becoming citizens, which they all 
very much preferred, if it could be accomplished. I am aware that a 
certain high functionary, at Washington city, who represents the govern- 
ment of Mexico, insists tnat foreigners can not obtain lands, in Califor- 
nia, merely by becoming citizens, but that their obtaining lands, depends 
entirely, upon the option of the governor of CaUfornia. Now how this may 
be, I do not pretend to say, but I do say, that the only prerequisites, re- 


quired, are those just stated, and in reference to this matter, I speak from my 
own personal knowledge, as I called upon the governor, with a view of 
applying for the grant of a certain tract of land, when he informed me, 
ds above stated. But as I did not think proper to become a Mexican 
citizen, I did not obtain my title, and as I am fully determined ntvex to 
become a Mexican citizen, the presumption is, that I shall never obtain a 
title to the lands for which I applied, especially if it is the destiny of Mex- 
ico /orev«r to retain possession of the Californias. In reference to the 
option of the governor to grant lands or not, as contended by the Mexi- 
can functionary alluded to, it is not at all material, more specially, as it 
happens to be his fxefntnce^ or at least his 'practice^ to grant lands to all 
foreigners, who make application in conformity with the requisitions before 
stated. And should his preference suggest a different course, I am in- 
clined to the opinion, that his excellency would still find it much more 
conducive, both to public policy and peace, to grant lands upon the same 
terms, to all who make application for that purpose; and thus, avoid crea- 
ting distinctions and prejudices, between native and naturalized citizens. 



Manners and customs. Lower classes; their huts; mode of constructing 
of. Second class; their houses; their furniture; their apparel. The 
higher class; their houses and furniture ; their apparel. A Me.ricdn 
dinner. Oxen xised for the draught. A Mexican yoke. A California 
plough. Saddle horses used for the draught. Mexicans going to mar- 
ket. Method of traveling. Alcalde's court. Suits at law; how conducted. 
A foreigner defeated at law. Fandangos. Cock-fights; how conducted. 
Bullfights; interesting scenes at. Bear-fights; hmo conducted. Market. 
Value of cattle; of horses; of sheep; of hogs. The staples; of what 
consisting. Trade; extent of. Amount of duties. Labor; value of 
Service of Indians. A species of slavery in Mexico. Commerce; extent 
of. Ships of war. Merchant vessels; time of arrival and departure. 
UTiale ships. Present and future commerce. Superior advantages of 

The Mexicans here, are a peculiar people, not only in reference to 
their intelligence, government, and all other particulars before mentioned, 
but also in reference to their manners and customs. The lower order 
of them live in mere huts, the walls of which are constructed of poles,' 
which are set upright, side by side, one end being permanently fixed in 
the ground; the other ends are attached with raw hide ropes to a pole, 
which is placed horizontally on each side of the walls thus constructed, 
and about six or seven feet from the ground. The four walls being thus 
erected, poles are then placed transversely from one wall to the other, 
which are covered either with hay, flags, or cornstalks, constituting the 


roof, when the hut is completed, having neither flexor nor chimney,— 
The second and higher orders, occupy such buildings as those which 
have been described upon a former page, most of which are also withont 
either chimneys or floors. No furniture is generally found in or about 
the houses of the lower orders, excepting here and there a raw bullock's 
hide spread upon the ground, which, together with a blanket or two, con- 
stitutes their beds and bedding. Their clothing generally consists of 
nothing more than a shirt and a pair of pantaloons, yet some of them 
also have a kind of rude, primitive hat, and sandals. The chase and 
servitude to the higher orders, furnish them a livelihood ; they subsist al- 
most entirely upon meat, fish, oats and edible roots. Those of the second 
and higher orders, who reside in the interior, although they have "adobie" 
houses, yet they generally have neither beds, chairs, tables, nor any other 
furniture, excepting such beds as those before described, and a raw hide 
spread upon the ground, which constitutes a table, with a few stools or 
bullock's heads, which answer as chairs. Their apparel consists of a 
shirt, a pair of pantaloons, some kind of a hat and and shoes, or sandals, 
in addition to which, some have a pair of breeches and a blanket, with a 
perforation in the middle, through which they put their heads, and thus 
form, as they think, a very convenient coat or cloak. Meat, fish, beans, 
bread and fruit, constitute their food. But they subsist chiefly upon the 
former, as a matter of preference. Should you call at the residence of 
one of these Mexicans, even of the highest class residing in the interior, you 
would not only be received very kindly, but you would also be annoyed 
with continued proffers,of all the luxuries which they possess. And should 
you remain until noon, a large quantity of beef will be roasted before the fire, 
which, when done, will be attached to a few sticks, which are driven into the 
ground for that purpose, in the middle of the room, when you are invited 
to sit down with them, and partake of the rich repast ; at the same time, you 
are oflered a stool or beef's head as a substitute for a chair, if there hap- 
pens to be one convenient, if not, you are expected to sit upon the ground. 
Being thus located, you now commence the dissection and mastication of 
the half, or quarter of a beef, as the case may be, with which you are now 
confronted; but in this operation, you labor under the disadvantage, ofj 
having none of the ordinary instruments, used upon such occasions ; 
hence you are under the necessity of using your pocket knife, or such 
other knife as you may chance to have in your possession. Among some 
of these people, in addition to the roasted beef, you would also be furnish- 
ed with a little bean soup, and, perhaps, some bread ; but they all view 
plates, knives and forks, and the like, as merb useless appendages. — 
Should you call upon those of the lower order, with the view of obtain- 
ing a dinner, the presumption is, that the whole affair would result in a 
disgusting failure, if not on their part, in an attempt to procure something 
for you to eat, at least, upon your part, in your attempt to eat what they 
have succeeded in procuring ; but whatever they have, they will readily 
offer you, with much apparent anxiety to accommodate. The higher 
order of those who reside in the different towns, and at the missions, 
generally live very well, much, in fact, as the foreigners do, who are 
equally as abundantly supplied with ail the necessaries and luxuries of 
life, as citizens of our own country, or those of any other. All classes 
of the Mexicans are unusually kind and hospitable to foreigners, as far 
as it relates to their reception and treatment as guests. Whatever atteor 


tion and kindness you may receive at their hands, while guests, and how- 
ever long you may remain with them, they will receive no compensation, 
but to your proposition to remunerate them, they invariably reply, "God 
wiU pay." 

Labor of all kinds is performed by the Indians and the lower order of 
the Mexicans, but those who are not bound in servitude to others, labor 
very little, as a competency of food and raiment, is readily acquired, Avith 
very little jexertion. Among all classes, oxen are principally used for 
the draught, drawmg by their horns, instead of their necks, as in the or- 
dinary manner ; a strong piece of timber about as large as an ordinary 
yoke, IS placed upon the necks of the oxen, just back of the horns, to 
which It is permanently attached, by means of a raw-hide rope. To the 
middle of this new-fashioned yoke, a strong raw-hide rope is affixed, to 
which the cart, plough, or whatever else is to be drawn, is attached, 
when all is in readiness for actual service. Those oxen, yoked in this 
manner, draw most extremely large draughts, but by no means as 

large draughts as they could draw, if yoked in the ordinary manner. 

The plough, which is in use among the Mexicans, is certainly among 
the most simply constructed, and cheapest of farming utensils, being, gen- 
erally, a mere forked stick, one prong of which, being pointed, answers, 
as the share, and the other having a notch cut at the end, to which a rope 
may be attached, constitutes the beam, while the main ' stalk, extending 
back a few feet from the union of the two prongs, constitutes the handle. 
This is the California plough, which is in general use, throughout the 
entire country ; but as an improvement upon this plough, some of the 
Mexicans construct one in a different manner, though with the same re- 
gard to cheapness, being two sticks of timber, so attached as to form a 
plough, very much like that just described; and designed only as a sub- 
stitute for that, when a natural fork cannot be conveniently found. — 
Horses are seldom used otherwise than as saddle-horses, but we fre- 
quently see large draughts, drawn by them, which, instead of being 
harnessed in the ordinary manner, are put under the saddle, the girth of 
which IS drawn extremely light, when one end of a strong raw-hide 
Tope, is attached to the stone, wood, or whatever else is to be drawn, while 
the other end is firmly attached to the pommel of the saddle. Every 
thing being thus arranged, the Mexican, with his heels loaded down 
with ponderous,gingling spurs, now mounts his steed, to whose sides he 
plies his heels with such pomied exactness, such force and confused ging- 
ling, that, as the alternative, he leaps and darts away with his im- 
mense load, notwithstanding its very great ponderosity. With horses har- 
nessed in this manner, it is quite common to see Mexicans on their way 
to market, their vehicles being a dry bullock's hide, to which one end of 
a long raw-hide rope is attached, tlie other end of which, is attached to 
the pommel of the saddle, of their riding horses. Upon this hide, thus 
draggmg upon the ground, are heaped vegetables, fowls, and whatever 
else they may have in readiness for the market, as well as two or three 
women and children, which, from ail appearances, are not designed for 
the market, or, at all events, it would seem that they would not sell to a very 
good advantage^ without the preparatory expense of a thorough scouring. 
Upon arriving in market. I have frequently seen these inventive geniuses, 
with their strange omnibuses, and omnifarious loading, passing about from 
place 10 place, until they disposed of all their load, excepting that part of it 


which partook somewhat of humanity, when they also disposed of their 
extraordinary vehicles, and returned to their homes as they best could, 
some on horse back, some on foot, and others, I knew not how, unless by 
"5^ea?«," to raise which, they appeared to be making- some efforts, which 
I thought, would most likely succeed. These are the vehicles in com- 
mon use, among- the Mexicans, but many of the foreigners, as well as 
some of the higher order of the Mexicans, have carts, wagons, and even 
carriages, but these are very seldom seen, and especially the latter ; as 
traveling is, as yet, almost entirely on horseback and by water, the former 
of which methods, is, however, much the most generally adopted, both by 
the Mexicans and foreigners. 

As we are passing, perhaps the reader would be pleased to notice the 
proceedings of a Mexican alcalde's court. An individual, wishing to in- 
stitute proceedings in one of their courts, for the recovery of a demand, 
applies to the alcalde for that purpose, who, instead of issuing a summons, 
despatches a servant post haste, to the residence of the defendant, inform- 
ing him, that his attendance at the alcaldes' office, will be required on a 
certain day, to answer the complaint of the plaintiff; and that, if he do 
not appear at the time and place designated, the alcalde, will proceed to 
ihe determination of the matter exparte. The day thus fixed upon ar- 
rives, and the parties appearing, his honor, now interrogates the defend- 
ant in reference to his delinquency, when he proceeds to offer such excu- 
ses as may occur to him, setting forth his reasons for not having made 
payment previously, or he commences to curse his antagonist most vocif- 
erously ; and insulting and abusing him to every extent, declaring abso- 
lutely, that he will not pay him, which is the "general issue " in Calfor- 
nia. According to the rules of practice in the alcalde's court, the plain- 
tiff is now entitled to the floor, v/hich he takes with the greatest eager- 
ness, when he commences to answer all the excuses and arguments of the 
defendant, or to repel his insults, by more direct, and more numerous in- 
sults, as well as by more vehement, and more profane cursing. If the 
proceedings have taken the latter course, his honor has nothing to do, but 
to weigh the insult and profanity, and give his judgment according to the 
preponderance, as it may be found in favor of the plaintiff or the 
defendant ; but if they have taken the former course, his honor pro- 
ceeds to determine, as to the weight and vr.lidity of the defendant's ex- 
cuses, which are thrown into th« Mexican's scales of justice, with the 
plaintiff's demand ; and, as before, the decision i-s according to the 
preponderance. In weighing and determining causes as above, much 
less depends upon the quantum of insult, profane cursing, the validity 
of the excuse, or the justness of the demand, than upon the weights which 
are employed, which are usually of gold, sometimes, however, they are 
of silver, but when those of the latter metal are used, they are made much 
heavier, the proportion between those of the latter and former metal, be- 
ing nearly as sixteen to one. These weights are always employed upon 
such occasions, and they are furnished, for that purpose, either by the 
parly himself, or by a friend ; in English they are called bribes, and it is 
now reduced., by experience, to an absolute certainty, that he that will 
not bribe, can not succeed at law, in a Mexican alcalde's court. At laic^ 
I say, I mean the game above alluded to, which, perhapn, partakes as lit- 
tle of law as it does of divinity. A foreigner of respectability, informed 
me, that he found it necessary in one instance, to resort to the law for the 

rC- -.. 



recovery of a demand, which he held against a farmer, who was amply 
able to pay him at any time, if he was so disposed. In order, therefore, 
to regulate his disposition, this gentleman applied to an alcalde, who im- 
mediately issued his warrant, (an athletic servant,) and soon the delinquent 
was ushered into the alcade's august presence, where he commenced to 
offer his numerous excuses, the principal of which was, that his cattle 
were not sufficiently fattened for the slaughter-house, and, consequently, 
to kill them then, would subject him to a very great loss. The kind 
hearted, lenient judge, now appeared to symphathize greatly with the 
defendant, which, however, was the effect of the golden weights, which 
had already been thrown into the scales, which were now, evidently, pre- 
ponderating in the defendant's favor. The magnanimous judge, pausing 
a few moments, but finding no disposition on the part of the foreign gen- 
tleman, to apply either the golden or silver weights, now asks the defen- 
dant, when his cattle will be so fattened as to enable him to kill them and 
discharge the plaintiff's demand, to which the defendant replies, that he 
thinks they will be amply fattened in about twelve months ; " very good" 
replies the alcalde, "let the cause stand continued until next autumn." 
The parties now, severally, returned to their homes, the defendant much 
elated with his triumphant success at law^ and the plaintiff, laboring under 
the sting of his unexpected defeat, is perfectly disgusted with every thing 
that bears the name of law, alcalde, or defendant. But the year soon rolls 
around, and the parties again appear before his honor, the dignified and 
bribed alcalde, who, immediately, proceeds to propound the same questions 
to the defendant, as before, in reference to the fitness of his cattle for the 
slaughter-house. Although the defendant did not give the same answer 
as before, yet he gave one, which more clearly exhibited the baseness, 
and contemptible meanness of both himself and the perjured alcade, 
which was, that his cattle were sufficiently fattened, but that he was una- 
ble to procure sufficient laborers. The parties now again returned to 
their respective homes, the defendant rejoicing in " the glorious uncer- 
tainties of the law," and the plaintiff, more fully than ever, convinced of 
its tendency to obstruct justice, and to promote villainy and crime ; and, 
hence more fully than ever, determined to have no more to do with either 
lau\ alcaldes, or defendants. 

The chief amusements of the Mexicans, are their fandangos or balls, 
cock-fights, and bull and bear-fights. The fandangos, or balls, are con- 
ducted among these people, much in the same manner, that they are 
elsewhere, or so nearly so, at least, that there is nothing connect- 
ed with them, which I shall particularly notice, although there are 
many very extraordinary and interesting scenes, that occur -upon 
these occasions, which might be so described, as to afford some amuse- 
ment, yet, as their description would afford no important information, I 
pass them unnoticed. The cock-fights are always attended by large con- 
courses of people, especially upon the Sabbath, when not only the common 
people, but also the officers of the government, as well as the priests, all of 
whom march in solemn procession, directly from the church, after divino 
service, to the cockpit, where they anticipate much from the approaching ex- 
hibition of inhuman cruelty. Various opinions are now entertained and 
expressed, as to the probable success of the various game cocks ; and all is 
high joy, noisy merriment, among the priests and all others, the latter of 
whom, are frequently heard to utter the most vehement, exulting, and 


triumphant shouts of acclamation and joy, witli repeated and vehement 
outcries of "huzza, for the priest's cock ! " The bull-fights are much 
the most common amusements, and it is almost incredible, with what ar- 
dor and zeal, the citizens of all classes, and of both sexes, crowd together, 
at these inhuman scenes of cruelty and blood. In the vicinity of every 
town of any importance, there is a vast arena in the form of an amphithea- 
tre, desigued for sports of this kind, which is circumscribed by a strong 
post and rail, or board fence, around the exterior of which, are successive 
circular seats, rising above one another to the height of tifteen or twenty 
feet, and of sufficient extent, to accommodate several thousand persons. 
Timely notice is always given of these bull-fights, and a general attend- 
ance, universally follows; savoring so strongly of barbarity, cruelty and 
indolence, it could not fail to attract the attention of the admiring thou- 
sands, of those semi-barbarians. The governor with all the principal 
officers, together with the priests, always occupies the highest seats upon 
such occasions; and their smiling approbation, especially of the priests, 
whether drunk or sober, is always considered a much higher encomium, 
than the thundering plaudits of all the surrounding multitude. And the 
priests are quite certain to laugh, whether there is any thing to laugh at or 
not, especially, if their merriment has been sufficiently excited by the 
enlivening and inebriating draughts, to which they are accustomed. 
Upon these occasions, you will frequently see, one fourth of all the Mex- 
ican population present, occupying the various seats before described, 
which, when thus occupied, are covered with an extensive awning. Be- 
ing thus arranged and accompanied by a band of music, or, rather, of iioisc^ 
and the bull-fighters, having marched into the arena, the signal is given, and 
the bull is loosed, when the fight commences. Some of the bull-fighters 
are on foot, others are on horseback, the latter being generally well trained 
in equestrian exercises, and all being armed with swords, spears, or lan- 
ces, they now commence action, either on the offensive or defensive, but 
generally, on the defensive ; for usually, the moment the bull is turned 
loose he makes a most furious charge, either upon the footmen or horse- 
men, when he receives repeated lacerations, from both spears and lances. 
If he attacks a horseman, his repeated assaults are resisted by the horse- 
man, until a footman comes to his aid, who thrusts a spear or lance into 
him, from behind, and, at the same time, exhibits a red flag, and thus his 
attention is diverted from the horseman, who would otherwise have been 
an easy prey. His attention is now turned to the footman, who is in a 
similar manner, relieved either by a horseman or by another footman. 
This scene is repeated from time to time, and, until the fatigued and 
wounded bull moves slowly away to one side of the arena, as if desirous 
of avoiding further conflict, when a most tremendous burst of applause 
resounds through the air, amid which the priests are heard, loudly ex- 
claiming, " non potest fieri melius ! non potest fieri melius ! " as well 
as heart could wish ! as \ve\\ as heart could wish ! 

These repeated and continued plaudits, excite the pride and renew the 
energies of the tormentors, who proceed to the renewal of the bloody 
scene, but the indisposition of the bull to renew the contest, appears to 
afford a serious obstacle, yet the ingenuity of these cruel tormentors, 
readily invents the means of arousing his last and dying energies. Hun- 
dreds of squibs and crackers, are now brought, which are attached to 


one end of wires, the other ends of which are pointed and hearded, which 
are then thrush into the neck, shoulders, and back of the sinking ani- 
HKil ; biit he is so far exhausted, that he entirely disregards them, until 
fire is applied to them, when the incessant cracking, hissing, smoking 
and blazing, arouse all his declining vigor. He now shakes his head 
most furiously, amid the firing, smoking confusion, then bellowing aloud, 
and distending his tongue, as if calling into requisition all his powers, he 
plunges and leaps at his antagonist, and striking the horse, prostrates 
him, rider and all, upon the ground, amid the deafening shouts of the 
multitude, and the vociferous exultations of the priests, who are heard 
above all others, loudly exclaiming; "prospere procedit opus ! prospere 
procedit opus!" the business goes on well! the business goes on well! 
But, in the mean time, the bull is goring and lacerating his fallen vic- 
tim, with the greatest fury; and soon it is found that the horse is dead, 
and that the rider, from the fall of the horse upon one of his legs, and 
the successive blows of the bull's head and horns upon the other, is 
unable to maintain an upright position; but by the aid of a few of his 
bro.vt comrades, he makes good his retreat, when the very heavens re- 
sound with thundering shouts, and vociferous peals of laughter from 
the excited multitude, who appear to be entirely indifferent, which of 
the animals succeeds, whether those in quadruped or human form. — 
This scene is also enjoyed to every extent by the priests, who are now 
heard exclaiming most vociferously, " exitus acta probat," all is well that 
ends well, which they repeat time after time, not only with the view of 
evincing their extreme delight, but also with a view of exhibiting some 
proofs of their more than ordinary learning. The attention of all, is, 
again, turned to the offending buli, upon which repeated assaults are 
made, both in front and rear, and he is soon dispatched, when one 
end of several strong ropes, is attached to his hinder legs, and the 
other, to the pommels of the saddles, and he is soon dragged out 
of the arena. But soon another bullock is brought in, and the same in- 
human scene is again performed, which is followed by similar circum- 
stances, and so on continuously, until five or six bulls have been thus in- 
hwmanly tortured and slain, when the whole multitude disperse, amid 
the most indescribable confusion, and return to their respective places of 
abode, with ample topics of conversation for many months to come. — 
The " bear-fights," as they are called, are conducted, in a manner, quite 
similar to that just described, the only difference being, that those human 
or, rather, inhuman combatants, the Mexicans, are not called into requi- 
sition. The combatants, in these conflicts of death, are a bear and a bull, 
which are turned into the arena together, the bear being, generally, turned 
in first, where he is permitted to remain alone, until all things are in 
readiness for the fatal combat, when the bull is also brought in, upon 
which, the bear rises slowly upon his hinder legs, and sits upright, until 
he is assailed. The bull, casting wildly about the arena, soon perceives 
his powerful antagonist, when he curbs his neck, and moves slowly to- 
wards him, turning first one side towards him, then the other, until he 
approaches near him, when, at once, he darts forward, and thus engages 
in mortal combat. The result of these conflicts is, invariably, either that 
the bull strikes his adversary with such irresistible force, that he is thrown 
upon his back, and the horns of the bull are thrust into him with such 
force, and in such quick succession, as to leave him lifeless in a very few 


mintites, or, that the bear, acquiring some advantage in the outset, gives 
him such tremendous blows with his paws, as to dash him to the ground, 
when, continuing the assault, his horned adversary is soon, and easily, 
rendered a lifeless prey. 

The market, trade, and commerce will now be briefly noticed, when 
I shall have done with California. There is, at this time, an ample mar- 
ket, in all the various portions of this country, for all the surplus products 
of whatever kind ; and this market is certain and uniform, being subject 
to none of those fluctuations, to which our market, in all portions of the 
States, is subject. Wheat has uniformly sold, in all portions of this coun- 
try, for about one dollar per bushel, which it is now worth; corn is worth 
fifty cents per bushel ; beans one dollar per bushel ; and potatoes fifty 
cents per bushel ; cattle are worth from one, to five dollars per head ; 
horses from three, to ten dollars ; sheep, from one to two dollars ; and 
hogs from one to three dollars ; hides are worth from one to two dollars 
each ; tallow from two to five cents per pound ; beef from one to three 
cents per pound ; butter from five to twenty cents per pound ; and flour 
from five to eight dollars per barrel ; which prices, with very few excep- 
tions, have remained the same for successive years. The Hudson's Bay 
Company, and the Russians, at present, aflbrd an ample market for all 
th-e wheat, which is, as yet, grown in this country; and they, as well as 
the American merchants, aflbrd an extensive market for the furs, hides, 
and tallow, as well as much of the beef, butter and vegetables, yet for 
the latter, especially the beef, butter and vegetables, the ships of war and 
the whale ships, afford the most extensive and valuable market. The 
increasing emigration, however, will aflbrd an extensive market for mosi 
of the surplus grain, as well as for many cattle and horses, sheep and 
hogs, for many years to come ; yet the market, for all the products of the 
country, will be, ultimately, found in the South American States, the vari- 
ous islands of the Pacific, the Russian settlements, China and England, 
The very great variety of the productions, will require a variety of markets; 
producing the tropical productions, it requires a northern market; and as 
it produces the northern productions, it requires a southern market. The 
staples will eventually be, beef, pork, fish, various kinds of grain, flour, 
wool, hides, tallow, furs, lumber, cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar, and coffee, 
as well as coal, iron, and various other minerals. This very great variety 
of productions will afford the people of this region, all the means of sub- 
sistence within their own country, will vastly enhance its wealth, and 
add, in an eminent degree, to the prosperity and happiness of the people. 

The trade of this country is chiefly carried on at the different towns, 
where, considering the extreme newness and unsetfled state of the coun- 
try, it is already very extensive. At each of the towns before enumera- 
ted, there are several stores, at which an extensive business, is daily trans- 
acted, which is found to be very lucrative. All kinds of dry goods, gro- 
ceries, hardware, and cutlery, are much dearer here, than they are either 
in Oregon or the States, being sold here, at prices, about five hundred 
per cent higher, than they are in either of those countries, which is own- 
ing to the imposition of excessive, and unparalleled duties upon imports. 
The enormous amount of duties, that is annually received by tl>e govern- 
ment, or, rather, the prodigal officers of the government, notwithstanding 
the innumerable leaks, is estimated at two hundred thousand dollars. 
Wages of labor, both for mechanics and ordinary hands, are very high 


those of the former being from two to five dollars per day, and those of the 
latter, from one to three dollars per day. The cause of wages' being 
so very high, is attributable to the fact, of their being so very few mechan- 
ics in the country, and the great aversion to industrial pursuits, which 
has, heretofore existed, in that country. This aversion to industry, evi- 
dently arose, from the fact of their being no apparent necessity to labor, 
or, in other words, from the unparalleled facilities, which here exist for 
acquiring a competency, and even a superfluity, by the easy process of 
doing nothing. Indians are readily employed, and, in any numbers, at 
the trifling expense of merely furnisliing them such clothing, as a course 
tow shirt, and a pair of pantaloons of similar cloth, and with such food 
as meat alone, or whatever else you may feel disposed to furnish them ; 
for any thing, which you might feel disposed to provide for them, would 
be preferable to the crickets and grasshoppers, upon which they have for- 
merly subsisted. There are several foreigners, who have from one, to 
four hundred of them employed upon these terms; and when thus em- 
ployed, should they leave their employer, without just cause, he is au- 
thorized to retake them, wherever he may find them, in whosesoever ser- 
vice they may be engaged. It is usually understood, that slavery does not 
exist, in any form, in any portion of the Mexican dominions, yet the na- 
tives, both in California, and several other portion of that country, and in 
truth, in all portions of it, are in a state of absolute vassalage, even more 
degrading, and more oppressive than that of our slaves in the south. 
Whether slavery will, eventually, be tolerated in this country, in any form, 
I do not pretend to say, but it is quite certain, that the labor of Indians 
will, for many years, be as little expensive to the farmers of that cou:itry, 
as slave labor, being procured for a mere nominal consideration. 

Considering the very short space of time, which has elapsed, since the 
different governments have turned their attentions to this country, and 
the very little which is, as yet, known in reference to it, its present com- 
merce is scarcely paralleled ; some conception of which, may be drawn 
from what has been said upon a former page, in reference to its extensive 
imports and duties. Fifteen or twenty vessels are, not unfrequently, seen 
in many of the various ports at the same time, displaying the national flags 
of all the principal powers of the world. Merchant vessels of the United 
States, England, France, Russia, and Mexico, as well as the ships of 
war, and the whale ships of the four former governments, are to be seen, 
at almost any time, in the different ports of this country, and of all of 
which, there are frequent arrivals and departures. The ships of war, 
which cruise in the Pacific, touch very frequently at the various ports of 
this country, for the purpose of obtaining fresh supplies of water, and pro- 
visions, and maintaining the rights of their respective governments, as well 
as for the purpose of capturing, now and then, a small town, or seizing, 
here and there, upon an island of the Pacific. The merchant vessels are 
much the most numerous, and are, chiefly, those of the United States, 
which arrive in that country each spring, and depart for the States eve- 
ry autumn or winter. Arriving in the spring, they are engaged in the coast- 
ing trade, until the latter part of the fall, or the early part of the winter, 
when they depart for the States, with cargoes of hides, tallow, or furs, 
which have been collected during the previous year. About one half of 
the merchant vessels, engaged in this trade, always remain in the country, 
engaged in the coasting trade, while the residue return to the States. Eng- 



land, or France, for tlie purpose of renewing- their stock of goods. Sev- 
eral of these vessels usually belong to the same houses, either of Boston 
or New York, which always keep a number in the country, while they 
employ others, constantly, in exporting the products of California, and 
importing goods for that trade, which they dispose of at most extraordi- 
nary prices. The whale ships touch at the various ports, for the purpose 
of obtaining supplies of provisions and water, and also for the purpose of 
trade with the inhabitants. Besides the ships and vessels above enumer- 
ated, there are numerous others, as well as various barques and brigs, 
which annually touch at the various ports of this country, not only from 
the States, England, France, and Russia, but also from the Sandwich Is- 
lands, the Russian settlements, and China. 

The foregoing will enable us to form very correct conclusions, in refer- 
ence to the present and future commerce of this infant country, the for- 
mer of which, considering the newness of the country, and the sparse- 
ness of the population, is scarcely equalled, and, if the present may be 
considered as a prelude to the future, the latter is destined, in a very few 
years, to exceed, by far, that of any other country of the same extent and 
population, in any portion of the known world. We are necessarily driv- 
en to this conclusion, when we consider the vast extent of its plains and 
valleys, of unequalled fertility and exuberance; the extraordinary vari- 
ety and abundance, of its productions, its unheard of uniformity, and sa- 
lubrity of climate; in fine, its unexhausted and inexhaustible resources, as 
well, as its increasing emigration, which i« annually swelling its popula- 
tion, from hundreds to thousands, and which is destined, at no distant day, 
to revolutionize the whole commercial, political, and moral aspect of all 
that highly important and delightful country. In a word, I will remark 
that in my opinion, there is no country, in the known world, possessing 
a soil so fertile and productive, with such varied and inexhaustible re- 
sources, and a climate of such mildness, uniformity and salubrity; nor is 
there a country, in my opinion, now known, which is so eminently cal- 
culated, by nature herself, in all respects, to promote the unbounded hap- 
piness and prosperity, of civilized and enlightened man. 



The different routes ; number of. Route between Brown''s and Hooker^s 
peaks. Route through the southern pass; description of. Excrement of 
buffalo tised for fuel. Buffalo, where first found; in what numbers seen. 
The Pawnees; hostility of. The Cumanches and Sioux; where found. 
Forts Larimie and John; description of; extent of trade at. The Black 
hills; singularity of. Independence rock; description of; celebration of 
the fourth of July at. Difficulty of taking wagons to Oregon; ease of 
taking them to California. Nearest route to California. Distance from, 
Independence to the Pacific. Comparative eligibility of the California 
route. Sante Fe route; partial importance of Route by Vera Cruz; 
description of. Dangers to which travellers are exposed; not permitted 
to carry arms. Foreigners frequently killed. Insecurity against robbers. 
Armed escort; cowardice and treachery of. Unmeaning religious cere- 
monies; danger from not conforming to. A foreigner killed in the City 
of Mexico. The route by sea; facilities for traveling by. Comparative 
advantages and disadvantages oj 'he different routes. Route through the 
southern pass preferred. 

Having perused the foregoing pages, the reader may have determined 
to emigrate to the one or the other of these countries, if so, his next in- 
quir}'- is. in reference to the routes, the equipment, supplies, and the method 
of traveling, all of which will now be noticed, in their proper order. 
In all there are eight distinct routes to those countries, six of which lie 
through the different passes, mentioned upon a former page; one of the 
remaining two >s that by the way of New Orleans, Vera Cruz, the City 
of Mexico, and Matzatlan ; and the other is the route by sea, by the way 
of Cape Horn. There are but five of the above routes, which are worthy 
of a particular notice ; all of which, I will now proceed briefly, to describe. 
The most northern of them, is that lying through the great gap, between 
Brown's and Hooker's Peakes, through which the Canadian emigrants, 
and the fur traders of the Hudson's Bay Company, annually pass, in 
their journeying from Canada, to the lower settlements in Oregon. As 
this route is very seldom, if ever, traveled by citizens of the United 
States, it is not deemed important, to enlarge in its description. I shall, 
therefore, proceed to the description of that lying through the great south- 
ern pass, near latitude 42 degrees north. Upon this route, the emigrant 
sets out from Independence, Mo., and travels thence, five or six days, in 
a direction, about west by north, to the Kansas or Caw river, crossing 
which, he proceeds thence northwest, about five days, to the Platte 
river ; thence continuing up the Plat-te, upon the south side, to the junc- 
tion of its north and south forks, thence up the south fork, on the south 
side, one day, to the usual ford ; where crossing the river, and continuing 
thence, in a direction about northwest by north, three days, to the north 
fork ; thence up the north fork about four days, to Fort Larimie, and Fort 
John. Leaving these forts, the emigrant pursues a course, about west by 
north, over the Black hills, seven days, to Sweet- water, near Independence 
rock ; thence up Sweet-water, nine days, to Little Sandy ; thence west by 


north four days, to Green river, or the Colorado of the west. Crossing 
Green river, and continuing thence, down it three days; thence west, 
one day, to Ham's fork, which is a branch o-f Green river ; thence up 
Ham's fork, three days ; thence west by north, one day, to Muddy 
river, which is a branch of Bear river; thence down Muddy and Bear 
rivers, three days, to the soda springs ; thence north northwest up the 
valley, two days ; and thence west over the high lands one day, to Fort 
Hall! From this fort, those who go to Oregon, continue down Lewis' 
river, fifteen days, to Fort Wallawalla ; and thence down the Columbia, 
ten days, to the lower settlement in Oregon. Those who go to California, 
travel from Fort Hall, west southwest about fifteen days, to the northern 
pass, in the California mountains ; thence, three days, to the Sacramento ; 
and thence, seven days, down the Sacramento, to the bay of St. Fran- 
cisco, in California. The former part of this route, is but one vast 
concatenation of plains and prairies, of almost unbounded extent. The 
entire country, from Independence to Fort Larimie, is a vast plain, en- 
tirely destitute of timber, with the exception of the small portions occa- 
sionally found upon, and in the immediate vicinity of the streams. The 
principal timber, found upon all this portion of the route, is found upon 
the Kansas or Caw river, and its tributaries ; bei^ides which, there is very 
little found even upon the streams. No scarcity of timber for fuel, is ex- 
perienced, until you arrive upon the Platte ; when, for the first time, you 
are reduced to the necessity, of substituting the excrement of the buffalo 
for fuel, which you are under the necessity of doing, the greater part of 
the distance, this side of the mountains, and, for considerable distance, 
after crossing the mountains. From Independence, to Fort Larimie, no 
serious obstructions are found ; as upon all this part of the route, you 
cros-s neither mountains, nor unfordable streams. The Kansas, and 
the south fork of the Platte, are the only streams of any importance, 
which are crossed upon this portion of the route ; and they are, always, 
very readily forded, at the season of the year at which emigrants pass 
through that region. The buffalo are usually seen upon this portion of 
the route, about fifteen days'drive from the States ; but they are also found, 
some seasons, within ten days' drive from the States; while, at other 
seasons, they are not found, within twenty days' drive. This, however, 
depends much upon the forwardness, or backwardness of the season, and 
the fact, of their having been hunted by the Indians, who inhabit that 
region. If the season is backward, they will not have migrated from 
the south, as early as the season, at which emigrants pass through that 
country; and if they have come out upon their northern migratory tour, 
in time for t'he emigrants, it frequently happens, that the Indians of that 
section hunt them to such an extent, that they are completely dispersed 
from all that region. The bufl^alo are also, generally found upon all por- 
tions of this route, from the Platte to the Rocky mountains, and even, for 
several hundred miles west of the Rocky mountains, both in Oregon 
and California ; and wherever they are found, they are always seen in 
the greatest abundance, and are killed with the greatest facility. Th.8 
only hostile Indians, that are seen between the States and Fort Larimie, 
are the Pawnees, who are a powerful and warlike tribe, and who are, 
generally, very troublesome to the emigrants ; yet they are, generally 
south of this route, at the season, at which emigrants pass through that 
portion of the country. The Cumanches, and the Sioux sometimes visit 


this region, but ihey are, very seldom here met by emigrants ; yet there 
are several other tribes, inhabiting and visiting this portion of the coun- 
try, which, although much less powerful and warlike, are, at times, very 
troublesome to emigrants and others. Fort Larimie is situated on Lari- 
mie's fork of the Platte, about seven hundred miles from Independence. 
About one mile south from this fort, there is, also, another fort, which is 
called. Fort John , and which is situated near the same river. These 
forts are constructed, in a manner, quite similar to Fort Hall, which has 
been before described ; and they are occupied by traders and trappers, for 
similar purposes. The trade, at these forts, is entirely with the Indians, 
which consists in the exchange of dry goods, provisions, guns, ammuni- 
tion, blankets, and whiskey, for furs, buffalo robes, buffalo beef, and 
horses ; in which, both of these establishments appear to be doing a very 
extensive and lucrative business. The gentlemen of these forts, are the 
first white persons, with whom the emigrants meet, after leaving the 
States, unless they chance to meet with companies of traders and trappers, 
on their way to the States. 

From these forts, to Fort Hall, a distance of about six hundred miles, 
the country through which the route lies, is, generally, very hilly and 
mountainous. The former part of this portion, includes that section of 
country, denominated the Black hills, which present a very extraordinary 
appearance. When viewed from an elevated position, they present one 
interminous succession of treeless, shrubless, rolling swells and hills, 
which much resemble the rolling billows of a tempestuous ocean. Trav- 
eling over these hills, is attended with much inconvenience and fatigue ; 
as it is but one continued scene of alternate ascension and decension, from 
morning until night, for several days in succession, and until we arrive 
at Independence rock, which, from its peculiarity and notoriety, requires 
a passing notice. It is situated near Sweet-water, about one hundred rods 
from the ordinary encampment, upon that stream. It is composed of solid 
granite, covering an area of about five acres, and rising in conical 
form, about four hundred feet, above the level of the surrounding country; 
it is seen at a great distance, and, hence, serves as a land mark, both for 
the mountaineer and the emigrant. Many portions of this extraordinary 
rock, present an extensive, perpendicular, smooth surface, upon which the 
various trappers and others, who have passed through that region, have 
inscribed their names, the numbers of their parties, and the date of their 
passing. The first party, which noticed this singular rock, in this man- 
ner, was a party of American trappers, who chanced to pass that way, 
upon the fourth day of July, when, wishing to be Americans, even in 
that secluded region of aboriginal barbarism, they proceeded to celebrate 
that great day, which gave birth to human liberty. This they did, by a 
succession of mountain revelings, festivities, and hilarities, which having 
been concluded, they all inscribed their names, together with the word 
" Independence," upon the most prominent, and conspicious portions of 
the rock ; hence its name and notoriety, which are as firmly established, 
by that act, as that rock of ages itself Independence rock, thus conse- 
crated, is destined, in all coming time, to stand forth as an enduring mon- 
ument to civil liberty, and American Independence! A greater part of 
the distance, from Independence rock to Green river, is comparatively, 
level, and affords a very eligible wagon way ; but from that river to Fort 
Hall, is the most broken and mountainous portion of the entire route. 


All this portion of the route, from Fort Larimie to Fort Hall, like that 
east of Fort Larimie, is, usually, entirely destitute of timber, but as a 
general thing, sufficient is found for fuel. On this portion of the route, 
buffalo are very seldom found west of Green river, but they are very 
abundant, between that river, and Fort Larimie, especially upon Sweet- 
water, and in the vicinity of Independence rock ; and they are, also, very 
numerous off the route, west of Green river, and even west of Fort Hall, 
both in Oregon and California. The only hostile Indians, with whom 
emigrants meet upon this portion of the route, are the Sioux, the Shyanes, 
and Eutaws , yet these are not called hostile, by mountaineers ; of this, 
however, the reader, will be enabled to judge, for himself, from what has 
been said upon a former page. The Sioux, particularly, can, scarcely, 
be thought to be friendly, if we judge them by their acts ; the making of 
myself and Mr. Lovejoy, prisoners of war, and the robbing of our hun- 
ters, whenever an opportunity presented , to say the least, were not very 
strong indications of friendship. 

From Fort Hall to the Pacific, by the Oregon route, a distance of about 
eight hundred miles, there is but one continued succession of high moun- 
tains, stupendous cliffs, and deep, frightful caverns, with an occasional lim- 
ited valley. There is much less difficulty, in obtaining wood for fuel, 
upon this portion of the route ; yet there are many places below Fort 
Boisia, where wood, for fuel, can not be obtained, only as it is purchased 
of the Indians, who always take immediate possession of every stick, 
which they find, either upon the shores, or floating down the streams. 
Although the Indians appear inclined to monopolize the entire wood 
trade, yet the course, which they pursue, is highly serviceable to the em- 
igrants; for, if they were here left to their own resources entirely, they 
would be unabled to procure, either wood, or the excrement of the buffalo. 
From the dalles to the Pacific, there is ample timber, as much of the 
country is covered with dense forests. This portion of the Oregon route, 
from Fort Hall to the Pacific, has always been considered, wholly impas- 
sable for wagons, or any other vehicles ; yet it is said, that the emigrants ^ 
of 1843, succeeded in getting their wagons entirely down to the Wallam- 
mette settlement. This they may have done , but I am confident, from 
my own experience, that each wagon must have cost the owner of it, more 
time and labor, than five wagons aroAvorth. even in Oregon. By recent 
explorations, however, a very good, and much more direct wagon way, 
has been found, about one hundred miles, southward from the great south- 
ern pass, which, it will be observed, lies principally through the northern 
part of California. The California route, from Fort Hall to the Sacra- 
mento river, lies through alternate plains, prairies and valleys, and over 
hills, amid lofty mountains ; thence down the great valley of the Sacra- 
mento, to the bay of St. Francisco, a distance from Fort Hall, of nine 
hundred miles. The Indians are, in many places, very numerous ; yet 
they are extremely timid, and entirely inoffensive. Wagons can be as 
readily taken from Fort Hall to the bay of St. Francisco, as they can, 
from the States to Fort Hall ; and, in fact, the latter part of the route, is 
found much more eligible for a wagon way, than the former. The moct 
direct route, for the California emigrants, would be to leave the Oregon i 

route, about two hundred miles east from Fort Hall ; thence bearing wes* 
southwest, to the Salt lake ; and thence continuing down to the bay of 


St. Francisco, by the route just described. The emigrants, up to this 
time, however, have traveled together, as far as Fort Hall, because of this 
being the only settlement, in that vicinity, at which they are enabled to pro- 
cure horses, and provisions. The soda springs, however, will, undoubted- 
ly, be found to be the point, at which the routes will most advantageously 
diverge, both in reference to directness, and to the obtaining of supplies ; 
for there is no doubt, but that a town, of very considerable importance, 
will spring up, at that point, in a very few years. The entire distance by 
this route, from Independence, either to Oregon or California, is about 
twenty-one hundred miles ; and the usual time required in performing the 
'journey, to either of those countries, will be found to be about one hundred 
and twenty days, exclusive of delays ; yet the great disadvantages, under 
which parties have, heretofore, labored, have caused them to occupy much 
more time, than that above stated, in performing the journey. It is a surpri- 
sing fact, that upon this entire route, from the States, either to Oregon or 
California, there is not a stream that emigrants cross, but that is fordable, 
at the season of the year, at which they pass through those regions. A 
much better way, is generally found, the entire extent of this route, than 
can be found, in any portion of our western States, the same distance, es- 
pecially from the States to California, by the route just described. 

The route, which I propose next briefly to notice, is that lying through 
the pass before described, which is situated, at latitude 34 deg. north. — 
This route is that usually traveled, by the Santa Fe traders and Mexi- 
can emigrants, as well as emigrants from our southern States. Because 
of the very little importance of this route to our people, at present, it is 
not deemed proper to detain the reader, with a detailed description. Al- 
though this route is now deemed, rather unimportant to citizens of the 
United States, yet, if the time ever comes, when the intermediate country, 
shall belong to a civilized people, this route will become of the greatest 
importance, especially to the southern emigrants and travelers, who, 
traveling almost directly west, would save all the distance to Indepen- 
dence, the present place of rendezvous. Until that happy event, no fur- 
ther description need be given of this route; as,because of the inveterate 
suspicion and animosity, which the inhabitants of that region, now enter- 
tain, of all foreigners, it is almost impossible for them to pass through 
that country, with any degree of safety. Foreigners, in traveling by 
this route, are not only subject to the serious effects, arising from the sus- 
picion and animosity of the Mexicans, but they are also, subject, to the 
serious and dangerous consequences arising from their innate thievish 
and murderous propensities. 

The route, by way of Vera Cruz, is among the most important routes 
to those countries, and hence, will require a more particular notice. The 
emigrant, who travels by this route, ships, at New Orleans, for Vera 
Cruz, where, if he sails from New Orleans, he arrives in seven or eight 
days ; thence by stage, three days, to the city of Mexico: thence by 
stage, six days, to Guadalaxara; thence on horseback, five days, to 
Topic ; thence fon horseback, two days, to St. Bias ; thence, by water, 
twelve days, to California, or twenty days to Oregon. By adding about 
the same time, as that above stated, for delays, we will have, very nearly, 
the time required, in performing the journey to Oregon or California, by 
this route, which will be found to be, about one month and a half, to the 
former place, and about one month and six days, to the latter place.— 


This is the route, by which I returned to the United States ; but I was 
more than three months, in reaching the States, even from California ; 
yet many of the usual delays, may be avoided. It is very expensive, 
traveling by this route, the entire expense being, about five hundred dol- 
lars. From Guadalaxara, the traveler is not only under the necessity 
of employing servants, and purchasing horses; but he is also under the 
necessity, of purchasing and taking with him, such provisions as he re- 
quires, as well as a traveling bed ; for, without preliminary arrangements 
of this kind, he would, generally, find himself without food, and always 
without a bed. The principal dangers, to which travelers are exposed, 
in passing through that country, are those of being robbed, and insulted 
or murdered, because of their non-conformity to the prevailing religious 
ceremonies, in which, all things else, appear to be wholly absorbed. — 
Robberies are, most frequently, committed between the city of Mexico 
and Vera Cruz, which is owing to the opinion, which prevails among 
the people, that upon the arrival of foreigners into their country, they 
necessarily have money in their possession ; and so upon their departure, 
the impression is, that they have collected their money, and other prop- 
erty ; and hence, that is the most lucrative field for robbers, which, it un- 
doubtedly would be, were it not for the extensive competition. About 
two thirds of all the robberies, committed upon this route, are committed 
between those two places. There is no method of guarding against 
these robbers ; for you are not permitted to carry arms, or what is tan- 
tamount to the same thing, you are told by the Mexicans, that they will 
not travel in the stage, if arms are carried ; the consequence of which is, 
that you are under the necessity, either of taking all of the seats in the 
stage yourself, or disposing of your arms, the latter of which courses, you 
would be most likely to pursue. Having disposed of his arms, the tra- 
veler, proceeds upon his dangerous journey, throwing himself upon the 
mercy, of a merciless bandit, of wreckless robbers, he perfectly reconciles 
himself to his fate, expects nothing else than to be robbed, and he is very 
seldom disappointed. The stage is seldom robbed, less frequently, than 
twice or thrice a week ; and passengers are, very frequently, shot from the 
box, as they are riding with the driver, especially if they are foreigners. 
Several graves are seen, by the road side, in one day's travel, of foreigners, 
who have been thus shot from the box, or otherwise killed, in their attempt, 
to resist the attack of the robbers, which, by the by, is a very dangerous 
undertaking, unless there are several foreigners together. These rob- 
bers, thus rob and kill, without regard to persons, or to personages, it 
seems, for our ministers do not escape their avaricious grasp. The only 
security, which travelers have against the ravages and outrages, of this 
community of thieves, is, to travel in numbers sufficient to insure their 
own protection ; for which purpose, four or five foreigners, well armed, 
are amply sufficient. 

An armed escort of about fifteen soldiers, is furnished by the govern- 
ment, ostensibly for the purpose of protecting travelers ; yet this escort 
is, always, composed of the most wreckless, and efficient robbers of the 
whole land. These soldiers always travel with the stage, on horseback, 
for which service they are not only paid by the government, but also by 
the passengers ; yet their innate ungratefulness, treachery and cowardice, 
are fully displayed, upon the approach of the robbers, when they, at 
once, flee for their own security, and leave the passengers, to the mercy 



of a horde of inhuman banditti. Several instances of this kind, were 
related to me, by the drivers, who are generally Americans, and who, by 
the by, are very kind, jovial fellows. One of these drivers informed me, 
as an extraordinary instance of this kind, that in driving the stage from 
the city of Mexico to Vera Cruz, he was attacked by a band of robbers, 
who ordered him to dismount, and hold his horses, and at the same time, 
ordered the escort to secure a retreat, while it was practicable ; both of 
which commands, were readily obeyed, when the robbers advanced, with 
drawn guns, and swords, and ordered the passengers to prostrate them- 
selves, one by one, upon the ground, with their faces downward, which, 
as thev were unarmed, they, of course, readily did ; when the robbers 
immediately proceeded, to break open their trunks, and valises, and to 
search their persons. Having done which, and having secured all the 
money, and other valuable property, of those who were fortunate enough 
to have either, and most cruelly, and inhumanly beating those, who had 
neither, they then ordered, their impoverished victims, to prepare for their 
departure, which they did, with very little delay. The brave escorts, 
observing this, now gallopped up, and demanded a portion of the spoils, 
a part of which, they said, they were entided to, as they had given way, 
in order to enable the robbers, to accomplish their criminal purposes. 
But the robbers having the organs of acquisitiveness, and destructiveness, 
equally as fully developed as the brave escort, and having the possession, 
had greatly the advantage, in this contest for the spoils ; being aware of 
which, they now ordered the government robbers^ to desist in their con- 
test for the spoils, and to avail themselves of a speedy flight ; and there- 
by, save their lives, which they were assured, any further contest would 
greatly jeopardize. Knowing that there was much more " truth than 
poetry" in the ^hoxe, i\ie government robbers, now, immediately made 
good their retreat ; and thus, the illegal succeeded, and triumphed over 
the legal robbers. There really appears to be a connivance, at these re- 
peated, and wanton robberies, by a great majority of all the Mexican peo- 
ple ; of which, I was fully convinced, by numerous instances, which 
were related to me, by several gentlemen, both foreigners and Mexicans, 
of Mexican gentlemeiH s, being stationed at the various public houses, 
whose duty it is, to keep the operatives in villainy and crime, duly ad- 
vised of all favorable opportunities, which may present, for the accom- 
plishment of their sinful purposes. 

The greatest dangers, to which foreigners are exposed, in traveling by 
this route, are those of being insulted or murdered, for a non-observance 
of the interminable, and extremely annoying religious ceremonies, with 
which they are everywhere surrounded. At the ringing of a certain bell, 
or rather a volley of ringing, from scores of bells, which occurs about 
eleven o'clock, of each day, all things human, everywhere in view, as 
well as many things that do not appear to be exactly human, fall upon 
their knees, where they remain for a few minutes, uncovered, when they 
are permitted again to engage in their ordinary avocations. Upon the 
passing of a certain "black coach," which is called by the foreigners, in 
derision, the "gocart," which is said to contain the "Holy Ghost," all 
persons, whether male or female, black or white, brown or yellov/, pros- 
trate themselves in a proper attitude of man worship, and thus remain 
upon their knees, whether in the mud, or on the pavement, until the sa- 
cerdotal corps, shall have passed away ; when they retire to their respec- 



live places of abode, business, amusement or lounging, amia the most con- 
fused and tremendous thunderings, of liundrcds of bells, which are now 
tossed and thrown with unusual energy. Tlie black vehicle, above allu- 
ded to, instead of containing the " Holy Ghost," as said, contains nothing 
more nor less, than oiie of those superhuman dignitaries in black, wlio is 
said to be on his way, to the residence of some person, who is very ill, 
with the view of administering to him, the last propitiatory, clerical aid. 
Because of the non-conformitv of the foreigners, to these unmeaning, su- 
perstitious ceremonies, of this priest ridden people, they are very fre- 
quently publicly and grossly insulted, knocked down in the streets, and 
even killed. Numerous instances of foreigners' having been slain, for the 
<tbove reason have, frequently, occurred in all the different portions of 
that country, rmd, even, in the city of Mexico, A short time since, a 
countryman of ours, was inhumanly, butchered in the city of Mexico, al- 
though he was kneeling, in conformity to the above superstitious practice. 
Being a shoe-maker, he was in his shop, engaged at his business, when 
ne was informed by a Mexican, that the "Holy Ghost" was passing, and 
understanding, that he was desired to do reverence to the "man in black,'* 
he arose, and knelt upon his seat; but he was informed, by the Mexican, 
tliat he" must come entirely out of his room, and kneel in the street. As 
he did not, immediately, comply with this request, but remained kneeling 
in his room, the Mexican rushed upon him , stabbed him to the heart, 
and laid him at his feet,a lifeless corpse, an unoffending victim of barba- 
rous superstition, and tyrannical priestcraft. The foreigners, being nmch 
exasperated, at this atrocious act of barbarous inhumanity, held a public 
meeting in reference to it, but being interrupted by the rabble, they were 
soon com|.)elled to disperse, not, however, until they had made arrange- 
ments for the interment of the body, which they, immediately, proceeded 
to do; but as they were moving in solemn procession to the grave, they 
were assailed by a mob, with clubs, brick bats, and all manner of deadly 
missels. So furious was the assault upon them, that they were under the 
necessity, of leaving the corpse in the street, and applying to the civil au- 
thorities for protection. A few soldiers were now sent to their aid, 
when they again moved on to the grave, where, as they were in. the act 
of performing the ordinary religious rites, they were again assailed, and 
driven from their purpose ; but finally, the mob was partially dispersed, 
when, availing themselves of the favorableness of the moment, they, in 
great haste and confusion, consummated the interment, and immediately 
retired, in order to secure their own personal safety. These are a few 
among the many dangers, to which foreigners are exposed, in traveling by 
this route, as well as a few^ among the numerous instances, that might be 
given, of the enormous evils and oppressions, whic}}..^necessari}y arise» 
from unrestrained priestcraft and religious intolerance. 

The route by sea, is the well known route around Cape Horn, by 
which there is, latterly, very extensive travel to those countries, border- 
ing upon the Pacific ocean. Opportunities are, annually, presented of 
obtaining passage, by this route, either from Boston or New York, to 
Oregon, California, or the Sandwich Islands ; and passage is readily ob- 
tained, from either of the latter places, to the other, twice or thrice, annu- 
ally. Those wishing to return, from either Oregon or California, to the 
States, find very frequent opportunities, as vessels sail, frequently, each 
season from both those countries, to the Sandwich Islands, from which 


place, passage can be obtained, at almost any time, to Boston or New 
York, ancl as vessels sail regularly, every autumn, from Oregon to Cali- 
fornia, and from California to the States. The latter opportunity, can be 
the more certainly relied upon, as the arrangements of the merchant ves- 
sels are such, that several of them arrive and depart annually. Leaving 
Boston or 'New York, in the month of August or September, they arrive 
in California, in the month of December or January ; and on their return 
to the States, they leave California, in the month of November or De- 
cember, and arrive at Boston or New- York, in February or March. The 
usual time required, by this route, is about one hundred and twenty days ; 
and the expense is about three hundred dollars, exclusive of all expenses, 
previous to departure. The doubling of Cape Horn, was, formerly con- 
sidered a very hazardous undertaking ; latterly, however, it is not so con- 
sidered, by experienced navigators. The greatest objections, which can 
b| urged against traveling by this route, are the unpleasant, cheerless mo- 
notony ,and the irksome confinement, incident to this method of traveling. 
Now, having taken this cursory view of the different routes, perhaps it 
would not be uninteresting to the reader, to briefly examine, the compar- 
ative advantages, and disadvantages, of each, in reference to safety, time 
and expense. Upon a full review of this subject, we shall find that the 
route, lying through the southern pass, near latitude 42° north has a de- 
cided preference, in all the above particulars. It will be observed, that 
traveling by this route, is much less hazardous, that but about the same 
time is required as in traveling by the route by sea, and very little more 
than is required, in traveling by the route, by the way of Vera Cruz and 
the city of Mexico; and that the expense is much less, by this route, 
than by either of the others, must be very evident. As nothing is requir- 
ed upon this route, but such teams and provisions, as the farmer must ne- 
cessarily have at home, it may be truly said, that it costs him nothing but 
his time ; for he can expend no money, as he travels entirely among tribes 
of barbarous Indians, who know nothing of money or its value. 





Equipment; kinds of arms; quantity of ammunition. Supplies; quantity 
of provisions; kinds of Biifjalo. not depended upon. Advisable to drive 
cattle. Cooking utensils; Jew io be taken. Beds; kind of preferred. 
Horses preferred, for ike saddle. Mvles preferable for the harness. Ox- 
en preferred to horses or m.ules. Working cows; not advised. Good wag- 
ons should be selected. What horses arid mules to be shod. Additional 
supplies; what to be taken. Method of traveling. Place of re7idezvous; 
time of arriving at; time of departure from.. Organization. Forming 
of an elliptical '■'" caraV Mid-day encampment. Forming a square ^'ca- 
raV^ Nocturnal encampmeuL Method of guarding camp; of guarding 
herds. Territory of hostile Indians ; extent of; method of traveling in. 
Defensive attitude; method of assuming. Horses, not turned out. Day 
and night guards; duty of Fires extinguished. Elk in human form. 
Indians mimicing wolves. Gims carried loaded.^ bid not capped, or primed. 
Horses in chase of buffalo withoiU riders. Large com/jjanies objectionable. 
Difficulties and dangers avoidable. Recapitulation. Conclusion. 

In treating of the equipment, supplies, and the method of traveling, I 
shall confine my remarks, entirely, to the over land route, which lies 
through the great southern pass; as the chief emigration, to those coun- 
tries, is, at this time, by that route, which from present indications, is 
destined to become the great thoroughfare, between the States, and both 
Oregon and California. All persons, designing to travel by this route, 
should, invariably, equip themselves with a good gun ; at least, five pounds 
of powder, and twenty pounds of lead ; in addition to which, it might 
be advisable, also, for each to provide himself with a holster of good pis- 
tols, which would, always, be found of very great service, yet they are 
not indispensable. If pistols are taken, an additional supply of ammuni- 
tion should, also, be taken ; for, it almost necessarily follows, that the 
more firearms you have, the more ammunition you will require, whether 
assailed by the Indians, or assailing the buffalo. If you come in contact 
with the latter, you will find the pistols of the greatest importance ; for 
you may gollop your horse, side by side, with them, and having pistols, 
you may shoot them down at your pleasure ; but should you come in 
mortal conflict with the former, the rifle will be found to be much more 
effective, and terrific ; the very presence of which, always, affords ample 
security. Being rovided with arms and ammunition, as above sug- 
gested, the emign nt may consider himself, as far as his equipment is con- 
cerned, prepared, for any warlike emergency, especially, if nature has, al- 
so, equipped him with the requisite energy and courage. 

In procuring supplies for this journey, the emigrant should provide 
himself with, at least, two hundred pounds of flour, or meal ; one hun 
dred and fifty pounds of bacon ; ten pounds of coffee ; twenty pounds of 
sugar ; and ten pounds of salt, with such other provisions as he ma 
prefer, and can conveniently take ; yet the provisions, above enumerate 



arc considered ample, both as to quantity, and variety. It would, per 
haps, be advisable for emigrants, not to encumber themselves with anj 
other, than those just enumerated ; as it is impracticable for them, lo 
lake all the luxuries, to which they have been accustomed ; and as it is 
found, by experience, that, when upon this kind of expedition, they are 
not desired, even by the most devoted epicurean. The above remarks, 
in reference to the quaniity of provisions, are designed to apply only to 
adults: but taking the above as the data, parents will find no difficulty, 
in determining as to the necessary quantum for children : in doing which, 
however, it should always be observed, that children as well as adults, 
require about twice the quaniity of provisions, which they would require 
at home, for the same length of time. This is attributable to the fact, of 
iheir being deprived of vegetables, and other sauce, and their being con- 
fined to meat and bread alone; as well as the fact, of their being sub- 
jected to continued and regular exercise, in the open air, which gives 
additional vigor and strength, whicn greatly improves the health, and, 
therefore, gives an additional demand for food! I am aware, that an 
opinion prevails among many, that when arriving in that region in which 
the buflalo abound, moat can be very readily obtained, and hence, much 
Ies3 meat need be taken ; but thi« is an error, which, unless cautiously 
guarded against, will be very apt to prove fatal: for to be found in that wikl 
and remote region, depending upon the buffah) for meat, would, in nine cases 
out of ten, result in immediate or ultimate starvation, especially, if there 
should be a large body of persons together. It is true, that imm()nse 
herds of buflalo. are (ound in that region : but it would be impossible, to 
kill them in sufhcient numbers, to susinin a irirge parly, unless many 
persons should devote their entire attention to the business of hunting ; 
and, even then, it could not be done, unless the company should delny 
for that purpose, which would, in all probability, produce consequences, 
equally as fatal as starvation; for, unless you pass over the inountains 
early in the fiill, you are very liable lo be detained, by impassable moun- 
tains of snow, until the next spring, or, perhaps, forever. Then it would 
seem, that, although the buflalo are vastly numerous, they cannot be re- 
lied upon ; yet lo avoid encumbering himself with the very large quanti- 
ties of meat which his family would rcrjuire, the emigrant can drive cat- 
tle, which will aObrd him a very good substitute, not only for the beef 
of the bufllilo, but, also, for bacon ; and what is more important, is, thai 
they can be relied upon, under all circumstances. 

Very few cooking utensils, should be taken, as they very much in- 
crease the load, to avoid which, is always a consideration of paramount 
importance. A baking-kettle, frying-pan, tea-kettle, tea-pot, and coffee- 
pot, are all the furniture of this kind, that is essential, which, together 
with tin plates, tin cups, ordinary knives, forks, spoons, and a coflee-mil!, 
should constitute the entire kitchen apparatus. Bedding should consist 
of nothing more than blankets, sheets, coverlets and pillows, which, 
being spread upon a buffalo robe, an oiled cloth, or some other impervi- 
cfus substance, should constitute the beds, which are found much prefera- 
ble, because of their being much less bulky, and weighty. Feather-beds 
arc sometimes taken by the frmilies, but in many instances, they find 
them, not only burthensomo and inconvenient, but entirely useless, con- 
sequently, they leave them by the way, and pursue the course above 
suggested. Our common horses, are preferable for the saddle, but it bo- 


mcs necessary to take such numbers of tfhem, that they may be occa- 
,:r-»nally changed ; for it is found by experience, that no American horse 
can be taken entirely through, being daily ised, either under the saddJe, 
or in the harness. Many prefer mules fpc .he saddle, but they are ob- 
jectionable, because of their extreme intractability, and their inflexible 
inertness, in which they appear to indulge, to a much greater extent than 
usual, upon this kind of expedition. For the harness, mules are prefer- 
able to horses ; for, notu'ithstanding their extreme inertness and slowness, 
they are found to endure the fatigue, and to subsist upon vegetation alone, 
much better than horses ; but oxen are considered piefera hie to cither. 
If mules are taken, it is advisable t-o take more of them, than are re- 
quired for ordinary teams, in order that they may be changed as occa- 
sion may require: for they, even, frequently become so fatigued, and 
exhi;uste'd, that they, like the horses, are left by the way, to be taken or 
kilie-, by the Indians. Oxen endure the fatigue and heat, much better 
than 'iher horses or mules; and they also, subsist much better, upon 
vegeta on alone^ as all herds are, of course, required to do, upon all 
portions of the route. There is no instance, within my knowledge, of 
any emigrant's being re([uired to leave his oxen by the way, because of 
excessive fatigue, or extreme povertjr ; for, as a general thing, they con- 
tinue to thrive, during the entire journey. But there are other consider- 
ations, which give them a decided preference, among which is the foct, 
ihat they are not liable to be stolen by the Indians, who are aware, that 
they travel so extremely slowly, that it would be impossible for them, to 
drive them so far, during the night, that they could not be retaken, during 
the next day; hence, they v.-ill not hazard the aUempt, especiall}^ as they 
would be serviceable to ihem, only as food ; and as the country abounds 
with buffiilo, and other game, the meat of which they very mucij prefer. 
Another consideration, which gives cattle the preference, is, that they do 
nof„ramble far from the encampment, as do horses and mules; nor are 
they necessarily tied, or otherwise confined, but are permitted to range 
about uncontrolled, both by day and night; and, yet, they are always to 
be found, within sight or hearing of the encampment. In selecting 
hjrses, mules and oxen, for this expedition, none should be taken, which 
rrc under five, or over ten years of age ; nor should calves or colts, un- 
der one year of age, be taken ; (or, from the tenderness of their hoofs, 
and their inability otherwise to endure fatigue, they are invariably left by 
the w^ay. The hoofs of older cattle, even, are frequently worn to such 
an extent, that, at times, it appears almost impossible, for them to conti- 
nue the journey, but being driven on, from day to day, their hoofs soon 
become again so indurated, as to obviate all further inconvenience. Some 
urge the propriety of working cows, instead of oxen, both the advantage 
and propriety of which, are very questionable; for, it will be admitted, 
that they are much inferior to oxen, in point of physical strength, and, 
hence, cannot be as serviceable for the draught; but it is urged, that, al- 
though they are more feeble, and, hence, less serviceable for the yoke, yet 
they are preferable, because they answer the double purpose of draught 
animals, and milk-cows; but the force of this reason is lost, when we 
take into consideration, the unwholesomeness of the milk of animal?, 
whose systems are, thus, enfevered by to excessive heat, and 
extreme physical exertion. ^ » 

iSood and substantial wage. is ,uOuU'fJ>vays be selecledj and however 


firm and staunch they may app>- r, thoy should, invariably, be particii' 
larly examined, and repaiurd, bt jie leaving the States; for, otherwise 
the emigrant may set out, with o very good wagon to all appearances, 
the defects of which, wheu he shall L. .'■ traveled a few hundred miles, 
u'ill have become very ob/ious : '. le coni> i^^auji of which, is, that he is 
left without a wagon, anr' thrown upon the kindness of his friends, for 
the conveyance of his family and provisions. TV iieiher WTigons are new 
or old, it is, perhaps, preferable, always, to have the tires re-set, previous 
to leaving Independence ; otherwise, before traveling one thousand miles, 
into that vastly elevated region, from the intense heat of those extensive, 
sandy plains, and the extreme aridity of the atmosphere, the tires become 
so expanded, and the w'ooden portions' of the wheels, so contracted, that 
it will be found very difficult to keep them together, in which, hovvver, 
by the constant and regular application of water, you may pos '' = suc- 
ceed. Those who go to Oregon, if they design to perform the '(.iirney 
in the ordinary time, c( 120 days, should take their wago'^v4 with 
a view of leaving them at Fort Hall, and performing the residi,', of the 
journey, on horseback ; otherwise, the repeated interruptions, b'' vw that 
point, will, most likely, present an insuperable barrier, to the accom- 
plishment of their object. Horses, which have been accustomed to wear- 
ing shoes, should also be shod for this journey, but others should not, as 
to shoe the latter, only imposes an unncessary expense, and spoils the 
hoof, by cutting away that horny substance, which, hardened by the in- 
tensely heated sand, would answer all the purposes of shoes. Mules, 
like horses, if they have not been previously shod, ought not to be, fiir 
the same reason, as that above stated ; and oxen and cows, ought 
n-iver to be shod ; yet many pursue a difTercnt course, and thereby, incur 
much useless expense, and inconvenience. Those horses and mules, 
which it becomes necessary to shoe, should be shod, previous to leaving 
the States; and one or two pairs of extra shoes, should be taken for each, 
which may be set by the blacksmiths on the way; as there are, always, 
several mechanics of that kind, belonging to each company. Beside, 
tlie foregoing supplies, emigraots should, also, provide themselves ^\itn 
good WTigon covers and tents, tent poles, axes, spades, and hoes, as well 
as strong ropes, of about sixty feet in length, for each horse or mule, 
•with a supply of stakes, to which they are to be tied; in addition d 
■which, every wagon should be supplied with extra axletrees, chains, 
hammers, and the like; and the different mechanics should also take a 
small portion of their tools, as they are, always, needed by the wp/y. — 
Should there be physicians and surgeons, attached to the company, as 
there most usually are, they should supply themselves with a small 
assortment of medicine, and a few surgical instruments. In addition to 
all the foregoing, perhaps, it would also be advisable for each emigrant, 
to provide himself with some such goods, as are adapted to the Indian 
trade, such, for instance, as beads, tobacco, handkerchiefs, blankets, 
ready made clothing, such as cheap, summer coats, pantaloons, vests r«nd 
coarse, cheap shirts, butcher knives, fishhooks, and powder and lead. 
Being equipped and supplied, is here suggested, the emigrant may set 
out upon this wild, yet interesting excursion, with high prospects of en- 
joying many extraordinary and pleasing scenes; and of safely arriving 
at liis desired place of destinai.i( n, without sufl^ering any of that extraor- 
dinary toil, unheard of hard.;;|ip, or eminent danger, which his owb 


ivhich large companies, are thrown into a defensive attitude, in case 

attack, must be obvious to all, even the inost inexperienced, in this 

od of traveling:. By the careful observance, of the foregoing direc- 

and suggestions, as well as a close adherence to their own experience, 

grants will avoid all those hardships and dangers, which they would, 

t'-wise, nec*jssarily experience. It is true, that emigrants in traveling, 

iigh these wild regions, are cut off in a measure, from society, de- 

v^ed of many of the luxuries of civilized life; and it is also true, that 

f eir way is not studded, with magnificent churches, and spacious houses 

of public entertainment ; but they hare enough of the enjoyments of 

society, for their present purposes, and as many of the luxuries of life, as 

are conducive to health and happiness : and, although they have not 

the benefits of churches, yet every camp of the emigrants is truly, a 

camp-meeting, and presents many of the exciting and interesting scenes, 

exhibited upon those important occasions ; and, although they have not 

all the conveniences, of commodious public-houses, yet nature's great 

inn. is always jn readiness for their reception ; and they experience the 

continual manifestations of the peculiar care and protection, of its great 

Proprietor, w'hether high, upon the eternal mountains above, or deep, in 

the untrodden vales below. 

The task assigned me at the outset, I ha vo now, faith' ;illy, though 
briefly, and imperfectly, performed ; yet, notv ithstanding it- brevity and 
imperfection, it is hoped that it will afford some valuable and practical in- 
formation,, in reference to both those highly inioortant countries. Noth- 
ing, however, has been attempted, but an extreaiely brief, thou;'^h practical 
description of those countries, which was designed, to enable the reader, 
to draw tolerably correct conclusions, in reference to thei; . .tent, moun- 
tains, rivers, lakes, islands, harbors, soil, cimiate, healtx , productions, 
governments, society, trade and commerce; and to give the emigrant, 
such practical information, relative to the routes, the equipment, supplies, 
and the method of traveling, as is thought to be essential, to his success 
and safety : all of which, I have now done, is far as con^isent with the 
extent of this little work, and my original design. In leaving this subject 
it is natural for us, not only to review whai we have ju!.^ seen, in refer- 
ence to those countries, and to contemplate tiieir present, prosperous con- 
dition, but also, to anticipate their conditivr;. in reference to the progres- 
sive future. In view of their increasing population, accumulating wealth, 
and growing prosperity, I can not but believe, that the time is note dis- 
tant, when those wild forests, trackless plains, untrodden valleys, and the 
unbounded ocean, will present one grand scene, of continuous improve- 
ments, universal enterprise, and unparalleled commerce: when those vast 
forests, shall have disappeared, before the hardy pioneer; tliose extensive 
plains, shall abound with innurnerable herds, of domestic animals; those 
fertile valleys, shall groan under the immense weight of their abundant 
products : when those numerous rivers, shall team with countless steam- 
boats, steam-ships, ships, barques and brigs ; when the entire country, will 
be everywhere intersected, with turnpike roads, rail-roads and canals ; 
and when, all the vastly numerous, and rich resources, of that now, al- 
most unknown region, will be fully and advantageously developed. To 
complete this picture, we may fancy to ourselves, a Boston, a New York, 
a Philadelphia and a Baltimore, groM-ing i^p in a day, as it were, both in 
Oregon and California ; crowded with a yafet popMation, and affording 



all the enjoyments and luxuries, of civilized life. And to this wc 
ad(L numerous churches, magnificent edifices, spacious colleges, am. 
pendous monuments and observatories, all of Grecian architecture, j^i, 
ing tiieir majestic heads, high in the aerial region, amid those towf 
pyramids of perpetual snow, looking down upon all the busy, biii 
setries, of tumultuous civilization, amid the eternal verdure of peren 
spiing. And in fine, we are also led to contemplate the time, as fast i 
proaching, when the supreme darkness of ignorance, superstition, ai; 
despotism, which now, so entirely pervade many portions of those n, 
mote regions, will have fled forever, before the march of civilization, and 
the blazing light, of civil and religious liberty J when genuine republican- 
ism, and unsophisticated democracy/, shall be reared up, and tower aloft, 
even upon the now wild shores, of the great Pacific ; where they shall 
forevei stand forth, as enduring monuments, to the increasing wisdom 
of wa?i, and the infinite kindness and protection, of an all-wise, and over- 
ruling Providence, 


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lity, "'Cawlitz. 28, 23, Hootanie, Kootanie. 30, 14, Cawlily, Cawlitz. 38, 39, happens, happen. 
37, 16, produce, produces. 33, 52, notice, a notice. 40, 2, a number, numbers. 45, 4G, gids, sides. 
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is, are. 79, 23, renders, render. 79, 49, is, are. 80, 37, Badago, Bcdaga.- 80, 38, Bodato, Bodaga, 
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fusions, profusion. 92, 23, succeed, succeeds. 94, 2, exorcise, exercise. 102, 40, building, build- 
ings. 104, 24, and several, with several. 109, 11, north, south. Ill, 47, cause, causes. 113,16. 
labors, labor, jfl 13, 32, city, the city. 121, 33, droaaishly, dronishly. 121, 38. this, the, V2'2, 7, 
were, was. Ip, li, irnlgration, emigration. 

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